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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Wood

April has been a busy month for interesting cases making their way through the court system. 

Here are some examples:


  • A tribunal has found that a woman who worked at the family shop (a limited company) between 2002 and 2022 and was unpaid throughout this time was constructively unfairly dismissed when she resigned after asking to be paid. It was found that her parents-in-law declared to HMRC that they were paying her £12,500 per year, however that was not the case. It also found that when the employee asked to be paid, she was treated detrimentally and was told to clean the toilets & stockroom and manage deliveries on her own. This case provides clarification about the scope of national minimum wage regulations by confirming employers cannot rely on the ‘family business’ exemption where they are incorporated as a limited company.


  • A tribunal has handed down a costs bill in excess of £50,000 to an employee who lodged a claim, for failing to provide a full list of detriments that he intended to rely upon to support his case.  The tribunal stated that he inadequately pleaded and that what the employee did provide had insufficient detail to understand his case.  They also stated that the claimant had behaved unreasonably, deliberately and persistently failed to comply with required steps and had pursued claims with no reasonable prospects of success.  As a result, the claimant was ordered to pay £50,186.50 in costs.


  • The Supreme Court rules that employees who take part in lawful strikes cannot be punished by their employers.  The ruling is considered ‘one of the most important industrial action cases for decades’ and a ‘sea change’ in legislation according to lawyers and unions. Current UK law states that employees can’t have their employment terminated if they take part in lawful strikes, however, there was no protection for employees who were punished with sanctions less than dismissal. This ruling by the Supreme Court means that employers can no longer punish or ill-treat a striking employee.


  • Asda has been ordered to pay a male employee who was assaulted by a female colleague £29,000 in compensation for sexual discrimination.  It was found that after the female colleague kicked the male employee in the backside twice and he reported it to his managers, that insufficient action was taken to investigate or deal with the matter.  It was further ruled that Asda failed to take the two assaults seriously and that their response was unlikely to be the same if it had been the other way round and the assault was perpetrated by a man towards a woman.


As you can see, the cases are varied and support not only employees who have been genuinely mistreated by their employers, but also employers where spiteful claims have been made against them where time and money has been spent.  The balance of this is good to see.


If you would like any further information on this article or would like to discuss your employment law and HR matters, please don’t hesitate to contact at and we will be delighted to help you.

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