Tribunal watch: EAT upholds “reverse zero hours” decision in Liverpool mayor case

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson. Photo: Bruce Adams / Associated Newspapers/REX
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson. Photo: Bruce Adams / Associated Newspapers / REX

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has upheld a decision limiting unfair dismissal compensation paid to the mayor of Liverpool, whose contract it described as a “reverse form” of zero hours contract. Stephen Simpson rounds up tribunal decisions reported in the past week.

Liverpool mayor loses school job appeal
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has lost the latest round of his legal challenge for compensation for unfair dismissal from a school where he used to work, reports the BBC.

Mr Anderson, who was a social exclusion officer with a school, became the mayor of Liverpool in May 2012.

He performed both roles for a period, but his work for the school dried up after he went into politics.

Following the termination of his employment in September 2012, Mr Anderson brought various employment tribunal claims against the school, including unfair dismissal.

In Anderson v Chesterfield High School, Mr Anderson won his unfair dismissal claim because the school did not follow a fair procedure in dismissing him.

However, his compensation was drastically reduced because he would have been dismissed even if a fair procedure had been followed.

The EAT has now upheld the tribunal’s decision to limit Mr Anderson’s compensation, criticising the arrangement as a “reverse form” of zero hours contract, whereby the employer was bound to pay a salary but Mr Anderson “was not bound to provide any services”.

The EAT suggested that it would have been a “public relations disaster” for the school to use public money to continue to pay an individual who was doing no work for it.

Mr Anderson has insisted that his legal challenge is not motivated by money, and that he plans to appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal.

Other tribunal decisions in the headlines

£19,500 for zero hours contract worker reluctant to report line manager
An employment tribunal has awarded a zero hours contract worker £19,500 after her employer failed properly to investigate allegations that her line manager, who decided how many hours’ work she was given, had sexually harassed her.

Dentist sacked nurse after she rejected his advances
The Daily Telegraph says that a tribunal has ruled that a dentist unfairly dismissed his nurse after she rejected his advances.

Medic cleared of sex assault was fairly dismissed, but dismissal breached contract
A paramedic who was sacked while under criminal investigation for sexual assault has won a wrongful dismissal claim against his former employer, reports the Derby Telegraph.

Police lawyers “hunt for grounds to appeal” after racism tribunal win
Wiltshire Police’s lawyers are sifting through the ruling from an employment tribunal that a black PC was subjected to racism for any grounds to appeal, according to the Swindon Advertiser.

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