HR Update
Jack Harrington
Can an employer rely on private WhatsApp messages in disciplinary proceedings, will asserting data protection breaches derail a disciplinary process, is a gender fluid/non binary employee covered under the Equality Act 2010, and can a belief that someone’s birth gender cannot be changed be a protected belief under the Equality Act 2010?

What’s New

This month we look at ICO’s new accountability framework, the extension of ACAS Early Conciliation Period, the highest costs award issue to a Claimant and the Job Retention Bonus.

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Recent highlights

How private is WhatsApp? 

The Court of Session (the Scottish equivalent of the Court of Appeal) has determined in the case of BC v Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland that the Police’s reliance on personal WhatsApp messages to bring misconduct charges against police officers was not a breach of the right to a private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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Data Rights and breach of contract

It is not uncommon for an employee faced with disciplinary allegations to resort to counter allegations such as breach of human rights or data rights in an attempt to put a spanner in the disciplinary works. But how likely is this to successfully de-rail the disciplinary process?

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Gender fluid/non-binary employee covered by the Equality Act

The very recent case of Taylor v Jaguar Land Rover has held than a gender fluid/non-binary employee is covered under the definition of ‘gender reassignment’ as a ‘protected characteristic’ under the Equality Act 2010 and hence was able to succeed with a claim of discrimination.

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A belief that sex and gender are set at birth and cannot be changed is held to be a protected a belief under the Equality Act 2010

The ET have made a finding in the case of Higgs v Farmor’s School that a belief that gender is set at birth and cannot be changed is a protected belief under the Equality Act.

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