Governance: UUK and NUS: report on BAME student attainment

Universities UK (UUK) and the National Union of Students (NUS) have published a report into the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) attainment gap in higher education and the action they propose is taken by universities to reduce it. The report, titled Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic student attainment at UK Universities: #closingthegap, states that it was produced after consultation with universities, student unions and external bodies, and: presents sector data on ethnicity and attainment discusses factors identified during the consultation as having an effect on ethnicity attainment differentials at degree level identifies steps that the UUK and NUS recommend are taken by universities as frameworks for accelerating progress provides brief guidance on how to implement positive action and ‘positive discrimination’ whilst complying with equality law, including examples of what types of action are likely to be lawful or unlawful. A number of briefings, reports and resources on BAME attainment, including equality and diversity data, are provided by the Office for Students (OfS) here.

Employment: Internal disciplinary proceedings and criminal proceedings

In North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust v Gregg [2019] EWCA Civ 387, the Court of Appeal considered an appeal by a Trust against the decision of the High Court to grant an interim injunction preventing it from continuing with a disciplinary investigation, amongst other things.  The case concerned a consultant in anaesthetics (the employee), and the death of two patients in his care.  Disciplinary proceedings were commenced, and the police were notified.  The CPS did not charge the employee for the first death due to insufficient evidence, although it was in the process of investigating the second patient’s death. The High Court decided that the Trust was in breach of an employment contract for: failing to pay the employee’s salary during the period when he was the subject of an interim suspension by the Interim Orders Tribunal of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service for proposing to hold a hearing to discuss the termination of the employee’s contract for his failure hold the requisite licence to practise with the General Medical Council because of the temporary withdrawal of his licence for the period of suspension and for breaching the implied term of trust and confidence by pursuing their own internal disciplinary process at the same time as an ongoing police investigation On the first point, the Court of Appeal considered Read Full Article…

Employment: High Court – Employer not responsible for injury at Christmas party

In Shelbourne v Cancer Research UK [2019] EWHC 842 (QB) the High Court upheld a county court judgment that an employer was not liable in negligence for an injury sustained at its Christmas party by one of its employees, nor was it vicariously liable for the actions of the individual who caused the injury. In order for the tort (or delict, in Scottish law) of negligence to arise, it must be established that the defendant owed a duty of care to the claimant.  A three-fold test has been set by case law, in order to determine the presence of such a duty: was the damage foreseeable? is there a sufficiently proximate relationship between the parties? in all the circumstances, is it fair, just and reasonable to impose a duty of care? Vicarious liability refers to strict, no-fault liability for wrongful actions or omissions of another person.  Whether vicarious liability can be attributed to a person (natural or legal) is generally decided on the basis of a two-stage test: is there a relationship between the primary ‘wrongdoer’ (typically, an employee) and the person alleged to be liable (typically, an employer), which is capable of giving rise to vicarious liability? is the connection between that relationship and the wrongful act or omission such as to make it just and reasonable to hold Read Full Article…

Newsletter Issue 102

This month, the newsletter covers the following topics: Governance: UUK and NUS: report on BAME student achievement UUK guidance on sexual misconduct Employment: High Court: employer not responsible for injury at Christmas party Internal disciplinary proceedings and criminal proceedings Consultation on redundancy protection for new parents No change to right to work checks for EU nationals until 2021 Equality: Discrimination arising from disability and mistaken belief Data protection: EDPB guidelines on processing personal data in the context of online services FAQ: Freedom of information Are anonymised research data, personal data exempt from disclosure under FOIA?