Author Archives: Mrs Markleham

About Mrs Markleham

Employment lawyer, discrimination lawyer, mildly peevish old woman.

Eweida: what it all means

I’ve been trying to work out what the ECtHR’s judgment in Eweida and others v United Kingdom means for UK discrimination law. I won’t spend time dissecting the judgment itself or the facts that have led up to it. This … Continue reading

Posted in Discrimination, Human Rights, Religion | Tagged | 7 Comments

Actually, Eweida has a point but she’ll still lose today

Nadia Eweida has a point.

I’m not saying I agree with the way she has handled all this, nor with the “persecution of Christians” narrative with which she (and the religious groups that have funded her case) is now associated. But the EAT and the Court of Appeal made a hash job of deciding her case, and here’s why. Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Religion | Tagged | 8 Comments

“Beecroft by the back door”: a practical guide to using the government’s “shares for rights” scheme to totally screw over your employees

The government’s “shares for rights” idea has been widely reported over the last few weeks and I haven’t read a great many articles in favour of it. Nowhere in Graeme Nuttall’s review of employee ownership (or in the subsequent government call for evidence) was it suggested that employees be asked to give up their unfair dismissal and redundancy rights (plus others) in order to benefit from a financial stake in the business. This is something the Chancellor has put in at the last minute, to puff up his “deregulatory” credentials at the party conference. In the spirit of deregulation, I set out below my practical guide to hiring new staff with no strings attached. Continue reading

Posted in General employment law, Red Tape Challenge | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Protected conversations: all gone quiet

Amid the flurry of employment law announcements made by Vince Cable on Friday, Nick Clegg’s grand plan for workplace “protected conversations” was quietly laid to rest. It was a terrible idea for both employers and employees, and it’s nice to see someone in government has actually been listening for once. Continue reading

Posted in General employment law, Red Tape Challenge | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Paralympics on Channel 4: a grumble about the perception of disability

A bit off my normal topics today. After the excitement of the Olympics, which I have to say the BBC covered excellently from start to finish, I was looking forward to seeing what C4 would make of the Paralympics.

Posted in Disability, Miscellany | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Red tape

“In accordance to the principles of Doublethink, it does not matter if the war is not real, or when it is, that victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won. It is meant to be continuous.” … Continue reading

Posted in General employment law, Miscellany, Red Tape Challenge | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Woodcock: press reporting of employment law issues reaches a new low

It is hard to find a paragraph of the Telegraph’s report of Woodcock v Cumbria Primary Care Trust that is not hugely inaccurate, alarmist, and misleading. I should say now that the likely effect of this case on age discrimination or other areas of employment law is close to nil, and yet the Telegraph screams that the court has apparently sanctioned the sacking of older workers to save employers money “even though the practise is unlawful”. Continue reading

Posted in Age discrimination, Press hyperbole, Retirement | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Rowan Atkinson, Discrimination Law and Creative Free Expression (Or: The News Is Not Not the Nine O’Clock News)

Rowan Atkinson has recently spoken out (Telegraph, BBC) about the effect of discrimination laws on “creative free expression”, with reference to Miriam O’Reilly’s victory over the BBC in her recent age discrimination case. He seems to deplore this intrusion, as … Continue reading

Posted in Age discrimination, Sex discrimination | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

12 days of employment law reform

On the first day of Christmas, Vince Cable gave to me: justice (but for a large fee).

On the second day of Christmas…. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Unfair dismissal qualifying periods: a historical perspective

The government (along with its advisers such as the now-notorious Adrian Beecroft) claim that employment laws in general, and unfair dismissal laws in particular, are holding up the economy, by making employers afraid to take on new recruits. Many people … Continue reading

Posted in General employment law, Myths, Red Tape Challenge | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Making sense of the EHRC’s stance on religion

A few weeks ago I blogged about the rather bizarre sounding messages that were coming from the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the subject of religious freedoms at work. They said they intervene in 4 cases going to the … Continue reading

Posted in Religion | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Reasonable adjustments for religion: the EHRC explains all

Commission proposes ‘reasonable accommodation’ for religion or belief is needed That’s the headline of the EHRC press release from Tuesday this week, when it announced that it was going to intervene in 4 controversial cases currently before the European Court … Continue reading

Posted in Press hyperbole, Religion, Sexual orientation | 3 Comments

Capping discrimination damages? Much ado about nothing

Compensation payouts in discrimination cases have been in the news again in the last week, this time as a result of the government’s “red tape challenge” (in other words, the idea of abolishing anything that might conceivably inhibit growth). I … Continue reading

Posted in Discrimination, General employment law, Press hyperbole | 3 Comments

Abolition of retirement age – a dog’s breakfast in the making (with apologies to any discerning canines)

It seems I’ve been beaten to it this morning. Darren Newman has got there before me and said much of what I was going to say about the draft regulations on the abolition of the default retirement age, which were … Continue reading

Posted in Age discrimination, Discrimination, Retirement | 10 Comments

Prisoner voting: just get over it (and other random thoughts)

Slightly out of the way of my normal fare today, and probably not very coherent as a result. But I’m going to get a few random thoughts off my chest over this whole human rights / prisoner voting / withdrawal from Strasbourg debate that’s going on this week. My opinion in short is that Parliament should get off its high horse, stop bellyaching about Strasbourg “eating away at our sovereignty”, and get on with passing a sensible law. And in my view, a sensible law says that everyone has to vote. Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 1 Comment