It’s the 24th of December and I’m ho-ho-hoping my Employment Law Advent Calen-deer has made a fa-la-la-la-lasting impression, or at least my Christmas puns. You don’t like them? That’s a little Rude-olph of you. Never mind. Take my Christmas quiz and feel the holiday cheer fir sure. You (candy) cane do it!
- Rudolph’s nose is shiny – so shiny you could even say it glows. Is he protected against discrimination on the grounds of disability under the Equality Act 2010?
a) Yes, because Rudolph says it has a substantial impact on his ability to perform the day to day activity of sniffing.
b) Not unless and until Sant knows reasonable adjustment’s need to be made.
c) He might be if Santa or other reindeers mistakenly perceive there to be a disability.
- This year, a lot of elves employed by Santa were off sick with the flu and Santa nearly missed his deadline. Next year, Santa wants to ask candidates how many days they had off work due to sickness to weed out the malingerers. Can he do this?
a) No, it’s unlawful to ask questions about disability and health before making a job offer.
b) Why isn’t he doing this already?
c) Yes, he’s making sure he recruits reliable elves that he doesn’t then have the hassle of dismissing.
- Scrooge caught Bob Cratchit in the act of pocketing candle stubs. Cratchit apologised immediately and explained he had no money to buy candles for his family. Can Scrooge dismiss him?
a) Yes, theft is gross misconduct and he was caught red handed.
b) No, it’s Christmas. Where’s his Christmas spirit?
c) Yes, but not before investigating, holding a disciplinary hearing and considering mitigating circumstances and alternatives to dismissal.
- While the employers of Whoville love Christmas and want their employees to enjoy the festivities, they also want their employees back to work as normal after the festive break. Can they tell their employees that they can’t travel overseas and risk quarantine/self-isolating on their return?
a) If employees haven’t factored in the requirement to self-isolate on their return, and can’t work from home, their holiday requests may be refused.
b) If the reason for travel is reasonable, for example, visiting a sick relative, it is not a reasonable instruction to stay in the UK.
c) Each case needs to be considered on its own facts because a blanket ban could risk constructive dismissal and discrimination claims.
d) All of the above.
- Everyone knows that Santa’s elves work long hours in the run up to Christmas making sure that every child has a present to open on Christmas morning. What rest breaks and periods are they entitled to?
a) A daily rest break of 20 minutes where they work longer than 6 hours, a daily rest period of 11 hours and a weekly rest period of 24 hours (or 48 hours in a fortnightly period).
b) Where possible, an equivalent period of compensatory rest or such rest as may be appropriate in order to safeguard the elves’ health and safety.
c) They don’t need breaks, they are powered by sugar treats and sweets.
Wishing you a very merry Christmas and remember the Blackadders Employment Team working in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and across Scotland are here to help and advice.
Answers: 1 c. 2 a. 3 c. 4 d. 5 b.
Donna Reynolds, Partner
Accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a Specialist in Employment Law & Discrimination Law
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