Holiday and long-term sickness absence

The relationship between holiday and long-term sickness absence will be examined yet further by the European Court of Justice (CJEU) which must answer the question of how long a worker on long-term sick leave should be entitled to accrue and be paid for (or in lieu of) annual leave? The Advocate-General’s opinion was that the right should not be indefinite, that a national law imposing a limit of 18 months was compatible with the Working Time Directive but that a time limit of six months was too short. (KHS AG v Schulte)

TUPE and collective agreements

Just when it seemed to be clear under UK law that changes to a collective agreement made after a TUPE transfer were not binding on a transferee, the question has been referred to the CJEU for determination (Parkwood Leisure v Alemo-Herron).  

Discrimination and recruitment

The CJEU is also due to make a decision on whether an employee who is qualified for a job but unsuccessful in applying for it has a right to find out why another applicant was appointed (Meister v Speech Design Carrier Systems).  

Age discrimination and retirement age

Although the statutory default retirement age has now been abolished, the question of what factors can justify compulsory retirement age remains relevant. The Supreme Court will look at the issue in early 2012 and, although the facts of the case relate to a partnership context, its decision will be illuminating for employers and partnerships alike (Seldon v Clarkson Wright & Jakes).  

Claims by overseas employees

The Supreme Court will address in November the issue of whether an employee who lived in Great Britain but worked wholly outside GB can bring a claim of unfair dismissal under the ERA 1996. This will be an important update on the principles first established in Lawson v Serco Limited in 2005 (Ravat v Halliburton Manufacturing and Services).