Employment Race discrimination. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (the EAT) allowed, in part, an appeal by an employee of Afro-Caribbean origin against the employment tribunal's decision striking out her claims of disability discrimination, direct race discrimination, harassment and victimisation, as having no reasonable prospect of success. The EAT held that the employment judge had erred in failing to consider that it was arguable that an employment tribunal should consider how a hypothetical white comparator would be treated in the circumstances, and in concluding that the claim of race discrimination should be struck out as having no reasonable prospect of success.
Legal aid Civil legal aid. The statutory charge exercised by the Legal Aid Agency against the claimant over the amount recovered in employment tribunal proceedings was not rendered unlawful by the European Convention on Human Rights or EU law and her claim for judicial review had to fail. The Administrative Court held that the circumstances in which she failed to receive any of the award did not provide any basis for concluding that the exception to the statutory charge arose.
Employment Wrongful dismissal. An employer's discriminatory treatment of an employee had not been such as to permit the employee to refuse to work. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the employee's appeal, held that the Employment Tribunal had been correct to dismiss the employee's wrongful dismissal claim in circumstances where in his return to work from an extended period of illness the employee refused to work unless his previous role was established in full. In the circumstances of the case, the employee had been guilty of gross misconduct.
Criminal law Harassment. The defence of insanity was available for a defendant charged with an offence of harassment, contrary to the . Accordingly, the Divisional Court allowed the appellant's appeal by way of case stated against the decision of the Crown Court that, as a matter of law, the defence of insanity was not available for an offence of harassment.
Restraint of trade by agreement Employer and employee. The claimants were granted injunctive relief against the first four defendants in respect of restrictive covenants contained in their service agreements pending trial and also springboard relief for alleged breach of their duties under the contracts, by creating a competing business. However, the Queen's Bench Division refused the claimants' applications for orders for disclosure.
Human rights Right to respect for private and family life. The policy governing the use of criminal records and the disclosure obligation in the (Exceptions) Order 1975, , so far as it concerned low-level historical reprimands, were in violation of art 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Divisional Court held that the decision to refuse the claimant employment as a service support officer, solely for a 2007 reprimand, had been unlawful as it had applied the pre-May 2013 law to a post-May 2013 situation and had breached art 8.
Employment Contract of employment. The clause relied on by the employee in her contract did prohibit shareholdings in any business carried on in competition with the former employer and was impermissibly wide and in restraint of trade unless it could be severed in some way. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division held that the clause was however, a single covenant which had to read as a whole and could not be severed.
Employment Discrimination. The Employment Appeal Tribunal partly allowed the employer's appeal against a decision that its cap on a redundancy scheme had been discriminatory on the grounds of age, whereby payments would not be available for those aged65 and over, who had an immediate entitlement to an occupational pension. The employment tribunal had failed to demonstrate a holistic approach to its assessment of the means adopted by the employer to achieve the various legitimate aims in the present case.
Employment Contract of employment. The Chancery Division allowed the claimant company's application for an injunction to enforce an employee restrictive covenant. The nature of the interests that it was desired to protect was capable of justifying a restraint and, judged by the defendant's status as a consultant, not partner, the non-compete clause was not wider than reasonably required for the protection of the claimant's interests.
Injunction Interim. The Chancery Division dismissed the claimant company's application for, among other things, an interim injunction prohibiting the defendants from dealing with its named customers and suppliers and an unlimited injunction preventing the defendants from using or disclosing its confidential information. While, on the evidence, there was a serious issue to be tried, the case was largely built on inference and did not establish that the claimant was likely to establish sufficient misuse of its data to justify granting a 'springboard' injunction at trial.