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Welcome to this months update.
June has seen some interesting Covid-19 related cases hitting the tribunal system. We're looking into an automatic unfair dismissal case that serves as a great reminder of the importance of having safety measures in place.

But, if you only get chance to read one case this month, make it the judgment in Finn v British Bung Manufacturing (Discrimination - Harassment). It's full of all the things we know should not be happening in a healthy and respectful workplace, and most importantly demonstrates the risk to employers that don't prioritise dignified and respectful behaviour across their whole organisation.

That's it for case law this month, but we also have updates for you on Long Covid and disability, Menstrual leave, exclusivity clauses, fit notes, the current IR climate, as well as an introduction to some new members of the Vista team!

Enjoy the update, and the sunshine, and see you next month!

Stephen Foster

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New Case Law
Discrimination - Harassment
The judgment in Finn v British Bung Manufacturing makes for juicy reading.

Its also a stark reminder of the importance of a healthy and respectful workplace culture.

Covid-19 & Unfair Dismissal (and a note on Long Covid)
This is a case of automatic unfair dismissal and is a great reminder of the importance of implementing safety measures and that will significantly reduce the risk of ‘danger’ posed to staff by the virus in the workplace and therefore the risk of tribunal claims.

Discrimination - Victimisation
In Leher v Aspers, the employee had 22 years’ in the gaming industry and was good at her job. She also had problems with persistent lateness and sickness absence.

After a number of unsuccessful applications for promotion, she raised allegations of discrimination by way of the grievance process.

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In The News
New Fit Note Legislation: What HR Need to Know
From 1 July 2022, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Pharmacists, and Physiotherapists will be able to legally certify fit notes.

This is a significant change from the Government, click below for the full detail.

Vista Expands its Investigations & Training Offering
Exciting news out of Vista HQ this month, we've been joined by some very talented new recruits!

Temporary Staff & Industrial Action
The Government have just announced that they are going to lift the restriction on employment agencies providing temporary workers to cover during industrial action. Welcome news to many employers.

Don't forget we have an IR advice hub on our website if you are looking for guidance in this space.

Who thought industrial action was a thing of the past? The government’s proposed repeal of current restrictions on the use of temporary agency workers to cover the duties of those taking part in official industrial action, will be welcome news for many employers.

Historically this restriction, contained in Regulation 7 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003, has proved costly and inconvenient to many businesses by preventing them from mitigating the impact of industrial action in the way they had initially hoped. The reform proposals, which also include an increase in damages of up to £1 million for larger trade unions who take unlawful industrial action, represent a marked shift to the right in the industrial relations landscape not seen since the Thatcherite era of the late 1970s.

We work with HR teams to tackle immediate industrial relations challenges, focussed on improving overall industrial relations throughout an organisation. If you're looking for support, drop us a line.

Tim Cross
Director of Employment & Legal Affairs

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Legal updates

Exclusivity Clauses
Following a Government consultation, the ban on the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts will now be extended to the contracts of other lower income workers.

Menstrual Leave
UK charities are asking the government to bring in paid leave for women who have to take time off work due to painful periods. Here's the latest on the proposals.

Are your job ads putting off potential recruits?
Chatter Communications, an employee brand agency, recently conducted a survey of 230 job adverts on the websites of FTSE 100 companies and analysed the findings.

The survey found that only 5 per cent of job adverts were written in an entirely gender-neutral way.

Sickness Absence
The Office for National Statistics has published its review of sickness absence rates in 2021. They have reached an all time high. Here's the latest on the report.