Thursday, 18 January 2001

New Draft Legislation + other matters

1. New draft legislation
2. Lord Irvine's appeal
3. New EAT decision

1. New draft legislation

I am told two Bills received first readings in the House of Commons yesterday (I have not yet seen the text of the Bills). The first, the Employee Consultation Rights Bill, apparently requires employers with more than 50 employees to consult workforce representatives on large business issues which directly affect employees. The second, the Outworking Bill, seeks to restrict fraudulent outworking schemes by prohibiting demands for advance payments from outworkers in order for them to obtain work.


2. Lord Irvine's Appeal

According to newspaper reports, the EAT yesterday allowed the Lord Chancellor's appeal (by a 2:1 majority) in Coker v Lord Chancellor - thus he did not indirectly discriminate against Jane Coker when appointing Gary Hart as his special advisor.

I have not seen the transcript yet, but will summarise the reasons once it is available.


3. New EAT Decision

This case has been placed on the EAT website ( in the last 24 hours. It is unreported, although it may be reported in due course.

Jones v ICS Cleaning Services Ltd. [11.4.2000, Lindsay P.]
An old case (pre- MacDonald v Ministry of Defence) in which the EAT held that the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 requires a homosexual man to be compared with a homosexual woman when deciding whether less favourable treatment has occurred. The case sets out some of the "very crude and very coarse" practices that went on "in the male restroom" at Stanstead airport during the 1990s. Anyone reading this decision is unlikely to want to fly from Stanstead again!

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