In the press this week…

18 February 2011

We know how much you all enjoy riveting overviews of the Equality Act 2010, the default retirement age and other gripping topics… However, this week, we’ve been keeping our eye on the press and you’d be surprised where employment law related issues crop up…

In the aftermath of the recent media scandal surrounding Sky News ­ where two male sports presenters were criticised for making sexist off-air comments about a female assistant referee ­ equality in the workplace is a major topic. Below is the Kervin & Barnes pick of the most relevant (and interesting) employment law related stories reported in the press this week.


“Compensation For A Thieving Former Employee” (Metro)

Simon Cremer (an employer at a flooring company) has been made to pay a former employee £13,000 for humiliating him by parading him through the streets.

Mark Gilbert began legal proceedings against Mr Cremer for loss of earnings and the anguish caused by the incident (which occurred in 2008).

Sporting a sign around his neck that read “THIEF I stole £845 Am on my way to police station”, the employee was marched through Witham, Essex. This followed Mr Gilbert’s admission he had cashed a company cheque at a local Cash Converters.

The 47-year-old employer commented that paying out £5,000 in compensation and £8,000 in legal bills for Mr Gilbert “stuck in his throat” he also said “he stole from me yet he is the one who is walking away with the money. It makes me so angry”.

Mr Cremer settled, as he would potentially have faced an even more sizable payout if the case had gone to court.

The full news article can be read here.

“Gay Waiter Awarded £21,571 In Harassment Claim” (Metro)

Vincent Ma, a waiter at Michelin-starred restaurant Yauatcha in Soho, Central London, was humiliated in relation to his sexual preferences by his colleagues and a restaurant customer.

Humiliation included the 31-year-old’s two male managers simulating sexual acts in front of him, a restaurant customer pinching his nipple, and numerous homophobic jokes from colleagues.

The London tribunal ruled that Mr Ma suffered sexual harassment and was constructively dismissed. Mr Ma also brought a claim for disability discrimination in relation to his diabetic condition but it was rejected.

The full news article can be read here.

“Husband Paid Wife’s Legal Fees For Unfair Dismissal Claim Against Him” (Daily Mail)

46-year-old Helen Hutcheson quit her job and started legal proceedings against her husband for unfair dismissal after he refused to pay her £3,000-a-month as manager of his Aberdeen dental practice.

Mrs Hutcheson claims John Hutcheson agreed to pay her the sum but reneged on this promise. John and his business partner Karen Robertson denied such an agreement had been made.

At the tribunal in Aberdeen, a judge threw out the case on the grounds that she had not worked at the practice long enough to bring an unfair dismissal claim.

Despite these proceedings and the fact her husband paid her legal fees; Mrs Hutcheson insists “There is absolutely no animosity between my husband and I ­ none at all. We are fine.”

The full news article can be read here.