UK HR Two Minute Monthly: COVID-19 automatic unfair dismissal, re-engagement orders, direct sex discrimination and hybrid working
May 24, 2021
Authored by: Catherine Turner
Our May 2021 update considers key employment law developments from April. It includes recent cases on automatic unfair dismissal in the context of serious and imminent danger arising out of COVID-19; when it is appropriate for a Tribunal to order re-engagement of dismissed employees; the correct comparator of a male employee on shared parental leave and hybrid working. We also outline other points of note, including the extension of the furlough scheme and the Employment Tribunal road map.
Employees can claim automatic unfair dismissal where refuse to return to work in belief that workplace puts them or others in danger due to COVID-19
Mr Rodgers was employed by Leeds Laser Cutting Limited and was dismissed with less than two years’ continuous service. Prior to his dismissal, Mr Rodgers had worked with a colleague who had been sent home because he was displaying COVID-19 symptoms. Mr Rodgers then developed a cough and shortly thereafter texted his employer to confirm he had no alternative but to stay off work until the lockdown had eased to avoid infecting his children. Mr Rodgers lived with his two young children, one of whom had sickle-cell anaemia. Mr Rodgers did not mention that he was staying