|Rolls Royce plc v Unite the Union|
|Court||Court of Appeal of England and Wales|
|Citation(s)|| EWCA Civ 387|
Rolls Royce plc v Unite the Union  EWCA Civ 387 is a UK labour law case, concerning redundancy.
In the collective agreements between Rolls Royce and Unite, each year of service gave employees an extra point against selection for redundancy. Rolls Royce, challenging the collective agreement that it had itself agreed to, asked the court whether this was compatible with the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006.
Unite the Union, commonly known as Unite, is a British and Irish trade union, formed on 1 May 2007, by the merger of Amicus and the Transport and General Workers' Union. With just over 1.2 million members, it is the second largest trade union in the UK. The General Secretary of Unite is Len McCluskey.
The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 is a piece of secondary legislation in the United Kingdom, which prohibits employers unreasonably discriminating against employees on grounds of age. It came into force on 1 October 2006. It is now superseded by the Equality Act 2010.
The High Courtheld that under EE(A)R 2006 r 3, the employer would have a defence to age discrimination because the collective agreement pursued a legitimate business aim, and in any case points for long service conferred a benefit on employees within regulation 32. Rolls Royce argued that the judge had failed to consider whether the provision was proportionate, and there was no ‘benefit’ under regulation 32.
Arden LJ, Wall LJ and Aikens LJ dismissed the appeal in the Court of Appeal. Although the length of service criterion could be indirect discrimination, it pursued a legitimate aim, especially where part of a collective agreement. Although the judge did not explicitly deal with proportionality, objectively his decision was correct, and it was unnecessary to reach a view on regulation 32. But if pushed, they would have said he was right.
Labour law mediates the relationship between workers, employing entities, trade unions and the government. Collective labour law relates to the tripartite relationship between employee, employer and union. Individual labour law concerns employees' rights at work also through the contract for work. Employment standards are social norms for the minimum socially acceptable conditions under which employees or contractors are allowed to work. Government agencies enforce labour law. Labour Law in the United States specifically states that an employee may not request their birthday off if they inconsiderately planned to go into labor (homonym) the following month.
European Union law is the system of laws operating within the member states of the European Union. The EU has political institutions and social and economic policies. According to its Court of Justice, the EU represents "a new legal order of international law". The EU's legal foundations are the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, unanimously agreed by the governments of 28 member states. New states may join the EU, if they agree to operate by the rules of the organisation, and existing members may leave according to their "own constitutional requirements". Citizens are able to vote directly in elections to the Parliament, while their national governments operate on behalf of them in the Council of the European Union and the European Council. The Commission is the executive branch. The Council of the European Union represents member state governments, while the Court of Justice is meant to uphold the rule of law and human rights. As the Court of Justice said, the EU is "not merely an economic union" but is intended to "ensure social progress and seek the constant improvement of the living and working conditions of their peoples".
United Kingdom labour law regulates the relations between workers, employers and trade unions. People at work in the UK benefit from a minimum charter of employment rights, which are found in various Acts, Regulations, common law and equity. This includes the right to a minimum wage of £7.83 for over 25-year-olds under the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. The Working Time Regulations 1998 give the right to 28 days paid holidays, breaks from work, and attempts to limit excessively long working hours. The Employment Rights Act 1996 gives the right to leave for child care, and the right to request flexible working patterns. The Pensions Act 2008 gives the right to be automatically enrolled in a basic occupational pension, whose funds must be protected according to the Pensions Act 1995.
Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company  EWCA Civ 1 is an English contract law decision by the Court of Appeal, which held an advertisement containing certain terms to get a reward constituted a binding unilateral offer that could be accepted by anyone who performed its terms. It is notable for its curious subject matter and how the influential judges developed the law in inventive ways. Carlill is frequently discussed as an introductory contract case, and may often be the first legal case a law student studies in the law of contract.
United States labor law sets the rights and duties for employees, labor unions, and employers in the United States. Labor law's basic aim is to remedy the "inequality of bargaining power" between employees and employers, especially employers "organized in the corporate or other forms of ownership association". Over the 20th century, federal law created minimum social and economic rights, and encouraged state laws to go beyond the minimum to favor employees. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 requires a federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 but higher in 28 states, and discourages working weeks over 40 hours through time-and-a-half overtime pay. There are no federal or state laws requiring paid holidays or paid family leave: the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 creates a limited right to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in larger employers. There is no automatic right to an occupational pension beyond federally guaranteed social security, but the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 requires standards of prudent management and good governance if employers agree to provide pensions, health plans or other benefits. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires employees have a safe system of work.
A severance package is pay and benefits employees receive when they leave employment at a company unwillfully. In addition to their remaining regular pay, it may include some of the following:
The Employment Rights Act 1996 is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament passed by the Conservative government to codify existing law on individual rights in UK labour law.
Geduldig v. Aiello, 417 U.S. 484 (1974), was an equal protection case in the United States in which the US Supreme Court ruled on whether unfavorable treatment to pregnant women could count as sex discrimination. It held that the denial of insurance benefits for work loss resulting from a normal pregnancy did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. The California insurance program at issue did not exclude workers from eligibility based on sex but excluded pregnancy from a list of compensable disabilities. The majority found that even though only women would be directly affected by the administrative decision, the classification of normal pregnancy as non-compensable was not a sex-based classification and so the court would defer to the state so long as it could provide a rational basis for its categorization.
Allonby v Accrington & Rossendale College (2004) C-256/01 is a European Union law case concerning the right of men and women to equal pay for work of equal value under Article 141 of the Treaty of the European Community.
Redfearn v Serco Ltd  ECHR 1878 is a UK labour law and European Court of Human Rights case. It held that UK law was deficit in not allowing a potential claim based on discrimination for one's political belief. Before the case was decided, the Equality Act 2010 provided a remedy to protect political beliefs, though it had not come into effect when this case was brought forth.
Palacios de la Villa v Cortefiel Servicios SA  IRLR 989 is European Union law case, concerning age discrimination law.
Wilson v United Kingdom  ECHR 552 is a UK labour law and European labour law case concerning discrimination by employers against their workers who join and take action through trade unions. After a long series of appeals through the UK court system, the European Court of Human Rights held that ECHR article 11 protects the fundamental right of people to join a trade union, engage in union related activities and take action as a last resort to protect their interests.
Alemo-Herron v Parkwood Leisure Ltd (2013) C-426/11 is an EU law and UK labour law case concerning whether an employer may agree to incorporate a collective agreement into an individual contract, and if that agreement has a provision for automatic updating of some terms, whether that transfers under the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations 2006. The UK Supreme Court referred to the European Court of Justice the question whether national courts could give a more favourable interpretation to legislation than had been given by German courts.
Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher  UKSC 41 is a landmark UK labour law and English contract law case decided by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, concerning the scope of statutory protection of rights for working individuals. It confirmed the view, also taken by the Court of Appeal, that the relative bargaining power of the parties must be taken into account when deciding whether a person counts as an employee, to get employment rights. As Lord Clarke said,
the relative bargaining power of the parties must be taken into account in deciding whether the terms of any written agreement in truth represent what was agreed and the true agreement will often have to be gleaned from all the circumstances of the case, of which the written agreement is only a part. This may be described as a purposive approach to the problem.
Ladele v London Borough of Islington  EWCA Civ 1357 is a UK labour law case concerning discrimination against same sex couples by a religious person in a public office.
Jivraj v Hashwani  UKSC 40 is a United Kingdom labour law case concerning the scope of employment. Considering European labour law cases and the purpose of discrimination legislation, it held that it was legitimate to select a person of a particular religion to be an arbitrator, here an Ismaili.
14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett, 556 U.S. 247 (2009), is a US labor law case in the United States Supreme Court on the rights of unionized workers to sue their employer for age discrimination. In this 2009 decision, the Court decided that whenever a union contract "clearly and unmistakably" requires that all age discrimination claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) be decided through arbitration, then employees subject to that contract cannot have those claims heard in court.
Tunstall v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, 323 U.S. 210 (1944), is a 1944 Supreme Court case. It involved a black man, Tom Tunstall, who was unfairly dismissed from his job because of his race.
Seldon v Clarkson, Wright and Jakes  UKSC 16 is a UK labour law case, concerning the discrimination under what is now the Equality Act 2010.
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