G4S Cash Solutions (UK) Ltd v Powell UKEAT/0243/15 - Reasonable adjustment could not
be imposed without the employee's consent
An engineer's responsibilities were reduced because of his
disabilities and subsequently his employer tried to impose a pay
cut on him, claiming this was a "reasonable
The EAT decided that any reasonable adjustment for disability
which was incompatible with the terms of the employment contract
could not be imposed by an employer and would only be effective
with the employee's consent. There was no reason in principle
why pay protection, in conjunction with other measures, could not
be a reasonable adjustment - the question would always be whether
it was reasonable for the employer to have to take that step.
This is an important decision for employers because it
establishes that the duty to make reasonable adjustments may extend
to pay protection where an employee is transferred to a lesser
Although the EAT said that maintaining pay protection is
unlikely to be an "everyday event", employers should
adopt a cautious approach and take into account all the surrounding
circumstances when deciding whether to protect a disabled
employee's salary level if they agree to move to a lower-graded
Royal Mail Group Limited v Jhuti UKEAT/0020/16 - Dismissal was automatically
unfair despite the decision-maker not being aware of the protected
The employee made protected disclosures to her line manager who
subsequently deliberately subjected her to detriments by bullying
and harassing her. Her line manager's temporary replacement
carried on treating her in the same manner and dismissed her in
ignorance of the disclosures.
The EAT concluded that the employee was automatically unfairly
dismissed for making protected disclosures even though the person
who dismissed her had been deliberately misled by the line manager
as to the true facts and was unaware of those disclosures.
A decision made by one person who is ignorant of the true facts,
where those facts have been manipulated by someone else who is
responsible for the employee, can still be attributed to their
Line managers should be trained to spot protected disclosures
and to understand their significance. HR should try to ensure that
line managers involve HR when dismissing employees.
McWilliams v Citibank NA unreported 19 April 2016 - Employer's
handling of subject access request contributed to unfairness of
A foreign exchange trader was suspended for breaching client
confidentiality in online chat conversations with other traders.
The employer did not respond to the trader's subject access
request (SAR) to obtain information relevant to the disciplinary
The ET found that the employer's refusal to respond to the
employee's SAR was unfair and materially affected her ability
to defend her actions. Even though the scope of the employee's
initial SAR was unduly excessive, the employer did not attempt to
provide her with any documents, based on a more limited or
proportionate search, before the disciplinary hearing.
This case deals with the interaction between the employer's
response to a SAR and an employee's unfair dismissal claim.
This decision appears to conflict with previous judgments, that
a SAR will not be enforced where it is intended to elicit
information to further the requester's position in existing or
prospective litigation. Despite this the tribunal's position is
in line with the Information Commissioner's Office's
guidance that if a data controller believes a SAR is made for an
improper purpose, this does not relieve them of their obligation to
Note that this is only a first instance decision, so is not
binding on other tribunals or courts.
National minimum wage
NMW rates increase from 1 October 2016, when the following
hourly rates will apply:
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