Employment Bulletin January 2015


Late January, and what better way to cheer you up after the annual nonsense about “Blue Monday” (the idea that the third Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year, and nothing to do with New Order’s seminal 12”) than a new employment bulletin?

First up, good news for employers, albeit, less glad tidings for litigious employees and employment lawyers.

The tail end of 2014 saw the latest legal challenge resulting in defeat for UNISON, with the High Court turning down the union’s second application for judicial review of the government’s decision to bring in fees. While UNISON produced statistics showing a significant fall in the number of claims brought since fees were introduced, lack of evidence was a problem in the case – no actual individuals could be shown to have been unable to bring claims because of cost.

In the way of these things, that this is far from the end of the matter. The Court has given permission to appeal, and during the course of this year we could see the emergence of the evidence UNISON needs. Whatever happens, tribunal fees will remain firmly on the agenda in 2015.

Obesity can be a disability (possibly, sometimes)
Kaltoft v Billund

After much speculation, the decision is in: the effects of obesity can sometimes amount to a disability.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) reached this conclusion following a referral from a Danish court in Kaltoft v Billund. The case concerned a childminder who claimed that his obesity was a factor in his redundancy.