Key cases to watch in 2018

Keep track of what’s coming up in the next 12 months with our pick of the key cases to watch in 2018.

Unfair Dismissal

Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust v Haywood

In the absence of a contractual provision, when does notice of termination take effect; when it is sent or when it is read? Judgment is expected shortly from the Supreme Court on this important practical point.

Contracts of Employment

Abrahall v Nottingham City Council and another

The Court of Appeal will soon decide whether a group of local authority employees retained a contractual right to annual increments in pay, despite accepting new terms subject to a later collective agreement that did not incorporate the entitlement.

Employment Status

Pimlico Plumbers v Smith and Uber BV v Aslam

Focus on the "gig economy" and the issue of employment status will continue this year with the Supreme Court hearing in Pimlico Plumbers v Smith coming up on 20 February. The Court of Appeal will hear the next instalment of the high profile case of Uber BV v Aslam in November.

Working Time and NMW

Focus Care Agency v Roberts

In March, the Court of Appeal will consider whether workers who "sleep in" are working and should be paid for the whole of their shift or only when they are awake and carrying out duties. This case is being watched especially closely by employers in the health and social care sector.

Holiday Pay

Sash Window Workshop v King

The ECJ recently held that, where an employee had never had the opportunity to take paid leave, he was entitled to payment on termination for leave accrued throughout his entire period of employment. The Court of Appeal will consider this decision and soon deliver its own Judgment on how this works under UK law.

Parental Leave

Capita Customer Management Ltd v Ali

The EAT will soon contribute to the limited case-law on shared parental leave by deciding whether a male employee was subjected to sex discrimination when his employer refused to allow him any period of shared parental leave on full pay (when a woman on maternity leave would have received 14 weeks' full pay).

Disability Discrimination

Donelien v Liberata UK Ltd

Where an employer takes 'reasonable steps' (but not every step possible) to determine whether an employee is disabled, is this enough to avoid having "constructive knowledge" of their disability. The Court of Appeal's decision on this difficult day to day issue is expected shortly.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Lee v McArthur and Ashers Baking Company Ltd

This high profile case continues in May, when the Supreme Court will decide whether bakery owners directly discriminated against a gay man by refusing to provide a cake with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage", due to their own religious beliefs. The case will shed light on how discrimination law works when two protected characteristics conflict.

Pregnancy Discrimination

Porras Guisado v Bankia SA

An Advocate General of the ECJ recently gave the thought provoking opinion that a woman is protected from discriminatory dismissal from the moment they become pregnant (even if they have not informed their employer). We wait to see how the ECJ will deal with this legal analysis (and inevitably there will be UK cases to follow to confirm how it applies in practice in the UK).

Equal Pay

Asda Stores Ltd v Brierley and others

This long running and complex equal pay claim comes before the Court of Appeal in October. The EAT recently decided that a predominantly female group of supermarket retail employees could compare themselves to a predominantly male group of delivery depot staff for the purposes of an equal pay claim of work of equal value, even though their pay was determined in different ways and by entirely different parts of the Group of companies.

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