July 28, 2016

2 most important employment law cases so far this year

Monitoring employees use of social media in work hours

Barbulescu v Romania (ECHR)


In the case of Barbulescu v Romaina (ECHR), the European Court of Human Rights was to examine the scope of the use of social media for private reasons while at work.


The engineer in question was dismissed for using Yahoo Messenger to have a conversation with his family, in addition to his business contacts, has challenged that his employer actions were in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.


The ECHR however, agreed with the actions of the employer, as they were seeking to verify that the engineer was using his computer and social media account for business purposes.


There is to be an appeal hearing at the ECHR Grand Chamber on 30th November 2016.




Dismissed for “pulling a sickie”

Metroline West Ltd v Ajaj / Ajaj v Metroline West Ltd (EAT)


In this case, it gives employers a bit of a recap if you suspect one of your employees has been faking or exaggerating an illness.


The EAT confirmed that an employee who fakes or exaggerates an injury or illness to get sick leave is fraudulent and is a breach of the trust and confidence of the employer (and hence a breach of the contract of employment), and can be dismissed for misconduct.


This case re-confirms for business owners that an employee “pulling a sickie” is a misconduct issues rather than a capability one, meaning that if an employer was to dismiss an employee for fraudulent sick leave then it must be based on misconduct

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