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Welcome to the last update of the year.
We hope you are well on your way with your Christmas shopping and looking forward to the festive break!

This months update covers the cases of Corby v ACAS, where the employment tribunal used the test when considering whether a claimant’s opposition to critical race theory was a protected belief under section 10(2) of the Equality Act 2010.

We've also got the latest on the Strikes Bill and guidance on the use of anonymised statements in disciplinary investigations.

Finally, you may have plenty of questions about the upcoming changes to holiday entitlement and the Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023. We're running two sessions in January with the employment law team where we'll be providing some clarity and answering your questions on both these topics - so don't miss your chance on those!

If we don't speak before, enjoy the update and have a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

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New Case Law
Opposition to critical race theory is a protected belief under the Equality Act 2010
In the recent case of Corby v ACAS, the employment tribunal used the test when considering whether a claimant’s opposition to critical race theory was a protected belief under section 10(2) of the Equality Act 2010.

Dismissal occurs when it is communicated – even if the communication is in error
A recent Employment tribunal case has proven to be a reminder for careful administration and that dismissal from employment occurs at the point that it is communicated by the employer.

When will the chain of causation be broken between an act of whistleblowing detriment and the losses flowing from it?
McNicholas v Care and Learning Alliance confirms that in order for an intervening act by a third party to break the chain of causation between a whistleblowing detriment and the losses suffered as a consequence, it must become the sole effective cause of the loss, damage or injury suffered, such that the prior wrongdoing is not an effective or contributory cause anymore.

Context is key – tribunal finds that claimant was unfairly dismissed for using racially offensive term during a training session 
In the recent case of Borg-Neal v Lloyds Bank Plc, the claimant attended a training session on race education for line managers and during a discussion, used an inappropriate word. This case illustrates the importance of considering surrounding circumstances... read the full case below.

Introduction of variable working pattern was indirect sex discrimination but could be justified on the facts
In the case of Dobson v Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the respondent introduced a new working pattern which involved the claimant, a community nurse, working variable days and weekends. The claimant was unable to comply with this new working pattern as she had three children, two of whom were disabled. She was dismissed.

Monitoring of employees 
Taking employee monitoring to a whole new level, LBC have reported that a boss in Spain was arrested after a tracker was planted on the car of an employee as part of a long-running row over sick leave.

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News & Future Developments
The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill receives Royal Assent 
The Strikes Act has been introduced to make sure that minimum service levels are maintained during strikes in key sectors in order to “ensure the safety of the public and their access to public services”. Here's the latest.

Guidance on the use of anonymised statements in disciplinary investigations
The cases here highlight the importance of balancing the desire of the witnesses to remain anonymous with the potential impact on the strength of their evidence and the fairness of the investigation.

Three ways discrimination can occur even where the employee does not have the relevant protected characteristic
It is important to remember that it is possible for an employee to claim discrimination even when they do not have the protected characteristic themselves. The following situations are worth being aware of...

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Workshops for HR Professionals
Holiday Entitlement Clinic
Earlier this month the Government issued its response to the consultation on retained EU employment law, and calculating holiday entitlement for part-year and irregular hours workers.

We’re here to tell you ‘fear not’! The draft regs look likely to come in January 2024, so to help you prepare, we have designed this webinar for HR professionals and employers to clarify the key changes, and to answer your burning holiday rights questions.

Join our employment law team in January...

Sexual Harassment - ‘Reasonable Steps’ vs ‘All Reasonable Steps’
What’s the difference between ‘reasonable steps’ and ‘all reasonable steps’ when it comes to building a defence to sexual harassment?

Join our employment law team for a 45 minute webinar where we’ll explore:
  • The case law
  • What to expect from the new requirements (Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill) that will come into effect in October 2024
  • Things employers can be doing now
  • Answer your questions