In brief

This month’s Employers Law news in brief

Employer can be liable for acts of third party

In the well-known "Bernard Manning case" – Burton v de Vere Hotels
– the EAT ruled that employers could be liable for race and sex harassment by
non-employees if the employer failed to take steps to avoid the harassment
occurring. In this case, the EAT ruled the same principle applies under the
DDA.
(Ree v Redrow Homes (Yorkshire) Limited, EAT)

Automatic dismissal of CEO was fair

Cobley had been employed as chief executive for 25 years. His contract expressly
provided that if he ceased to be a director of the company, his contract would terminate.
Following a takeover which Cobley resisted, he was dismissed when the new
shareholders appointed their own board. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision
of the tribunal and EAT that the dismissal was fair in the circumstances. The
reason for dismissal was ‘some other substantial reason’. Cobley was an
experienced businessman and would have known that he risked losing his job if
the takeover succeeded.
Cobley v Forward Technology Industries Plc, CA

Disability and progressive conditions

In this case, the applicant developed prostate cancer. Surgery left him
incontinent. The Court of Appeal held that he was disabled for the purposes of
the DDA, falling within the progressive medical conditions provisions of
Schedule 1, paragraph 8 of the Act. The incontinence was an adverse effect on
normal day-to-day activities. It arose from the medical condition, even though
it had been caused by surgery rather than the condition itself.
Kirton v Tetrosyl Ltd, CA

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