in brief

This
month’s news in brief

Child-break
scheme broke continuity of employment

A
four-year ‘child-break’ under the Marks & Spencer scheme broke continuity
of employment. The Court of Appeal overturned an EAT ruling that continuity was
preserved. The scheme involved the employee resigning from work. In these
circumstances, the employee was not absent from work "in circumstances
such that she was regarded as continuing in employment", despite a
guarantee of re-employment at the end of the scheme. (Curr v Marks & Spencer
plc, Court of Appeal)

Disability
did not give automatic right to alternative employment

The
employee was unable to perform her duties, due to disability. While alternative
jobs were available at a higher grade, the employer’s policy was to open these up
to competitive selection. The applicant applied unsuccessfully. The EAT agreed
with the tribunal that there was no failure to make reasonable adjustments.
Such adjustments could include transfer to alternative work. The duty to make
adjustments only applies, however, if the employer’s arrangements put the
disabled person at a disadvantage compared with non-disabled employees. That
was not the case here – the competitive interview process applied to everyone.
Further, there would have been justification, that is that the policy was
designed to recruit the best person for the job. (Archibald v Fife Council, EAT)

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