Included in this edition of Up to Date we cover: Whistleblowing; Vicarious liability; Budget round up and much more.

Whistleblowing: co-workers personally liable for post-dismissal losses flowing from pre-dismissal detriment

The Court of Appeal has held that an employee was not prohibited from bringing a claim against his co-workers based on pre-dismissal detriment actions which had caused his dismissal. Further, the employee was entitled to recover compensation for losses flowing from the dismissal which had been caused by the pre-termination detriment, subject to the usual rules on the remoteness of loss.  As a result of this decision, employers need to ensure they have appropriate policies, training and insurance cover in place ((1) Timis (2) Sage v Osipov).

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Vicarious liability: employer liable for violent conduct of senior employee at an unofficial work drinks party

The Court of Appeal has allowed the Claimant’s appeal in Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Limited, finding that the employer was vicariously liable for its Managing Director’s assault of another employee at a post-Christmas party drinks event.

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Vicarious liability: employer held liable for employee's deliberate and malicious data breach

The Court of Appeal has held an employer liable for a deliberate data breach by an employee whose motivation for committing the breach was to cause harm to the employer. The fact that employers cannot be held vicariously liable for statutory breaches of the Data Protection Act was confirmed, however this did not prevent the finding of vicarious liability for tortious or iniquitous acts by the employee (such as the misuse of personal data or breach of confidence). In this case, the employer's liability was upheld despite the fact that they were not at fault under data protection or privacy law (WM Morrison Supermarkets plc v Various Claimants).

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Settlement agreements and NDAs: interim injunction granted against publication of allegations of misconduct by a senior executive

The Court of Appeal ordered an injunction to prevent the Telegraph newspaper publishing allegations of "discreditable conduct" by a senior executive of a group of companies against five employees of those companies.  The injunction was on an interim basis pending a speedy trial, given that publication of the allegations was a matter of public interest.  Subsequent to the Court's decision, Lord Peter Hain named the senior executive concerned in the House of Lords relying on Parliamentary privilege (ABC & Others v Telegraph Media Group Limited). 

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Harassment: potentially harassing comment not harassment when considered against background context

In Evans v Xactly Corporation Limited, the EAT confirmed that Employment Tribunals should analyse an employer's office culture when considering potentially harassing comments. The EAT stressed that such claims are highly fact sensitive and context specific; in other words, while calling a co-worker "a fat ginger pikey" did not constitute harassment in this case, it certainly may do so in another. 

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Holiday: EU law does not require holiday to accrue during parental leave

In Tribunalul Botosani and Ministerul Justitiei v Dicu the Romanian Courts referred a question to the ECJ to ascertain whether a period of parental leave must be treated as a period of actual work for the purpose of determining a worker's entitlement to paid annual leave. The ECJ concluded that it did not, meaning that under EU law workers on parental leave do not continue to accrue annual leave during that period.

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Immigration update: the latest news from our Immigration team

In this briefing our Immigration team provides an update on the latest developments that employers need to know about including: the EU Settlement Scheme, the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules and the proposed increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge. 

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Budget round up: points for employment lawyers and HR

We briefly round up the key points of interest for employment lawyers and HR from the Budget presented to Parliament on 29 October 2018.

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