The effects of coronavirus on your legal rights and our service.

Complete the form below to ask us a question or make an enquiry. We’ll get back to you via phone or email as soon as possible.

Insights

Pandemic employment claim decisions

Posted on 11th June 2021 in Employment

Posted by

Stephen Jennings

Partner and Solicitor
Pandemic employment claim decisions

We are now starting to see decisions come through for pandemic-related employment claims, such as the recent case of Mr Francesco Accattatis v Fortuna Group (London) Limited.

Mr Accattatis worked for a company which sells PPE. He was uncomfortable attending his place of work (which involved travelling by bus) during lockdown and he could not work from home. Requests for furlough were declined and Mr Accattatis was told if he did not wish to attend work, he could take paid holiday or unpaid leave. In the face of Mr Accattatis’ evident reluctance to attend work, he was dismissed.

Although he did not have the requisite two years’ service to claim ordinary unfair dismissal, Mr Accattatis claimed he had been dismissed for refusing to attend work, which was automatically unfair because:

The Tribunal agreed with Mr Accattatis that there were circumstances of danger which he reasonably believed to be serious and imminent. However his claim failed on the grounds that he was not dismissed for proposing to stay at home (which he could have done by taking leave), but rather for unreasonably demanding to be paid whilst at home (either under the furlough scheme or by working from home).

Whilst only a first instance decision which other Employment Tribunals are not bound to follow, this gives an interesting insight into how Tribunals approach claims of this sort and shows that the pandemic may not on its own justify a refusal to attend work if employers have reasonably tried to accommodate employees' concerns.

 

How can Tozers help?

For further specialist employer support or employment advice, please contact our specialist employment team.

Contact our legal experts


 

Paper plane

 

Get the latest news straight from our legal experts.

Subscribe to our newsletter to recieve current, dedicated, suppport and guidance from our solicitors straight to your inbox, wherever you are.

Company & Industry

Related Insights

Insights

What should Employers be doing when returning to the office?

Posted on 10th May 2022 in Employment

The pandemic has accelerated the trend of working from home but with the lifting of restrictions and workplaces reopening, employers are now having to think about what approach should be adopted when it comes to future work arrangements.

Posted by

Mai Mbye

Solicitor
Insights

Employers right to work checks change on April 6th

Posted on 06th April 2022 in Employment

From 6 April employers right to work checks will change. Physical cards will no longer be accepted as part of the right to work checking process and checks will have to be done online via the Home Office online checking service.

Posted by

Joanna Parry

Associate and Solicitor