Hello and welcome back to your slightly delayed (one week is slight in our books) employment law update. Last month’s update had features on US Women’s soccer team and case studies of bullying and harassment, our previous case law update was about holiday pay. This month we have a bumper edition for you to make up for the delay in sending this newsletter and the lack of case law update the previous week.

In the past year or so we have run several current affairs features that examine the behaviours of public figures through an employment law lens. Recently this has included reports into the bullying culture at the House of Commons.

This month ended on the rather sour note of the proposed suspension and prorogation of Parliament, an ironic move by an unelected PM heading up a minority government to force a Brexit purportedly about taking back control from unelected, undemocratic EU bureaucrats. However, there was another more minor news article in August that suggested this is the modus operandi of the BoJoGov.

Sonia Khan, was a special adviser – shortened to portmanteau “spad”-  to Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Prior to this she had worked for Javid’s predecessor, Philip Hammond. Ms Khan was called into a meeting with Johnson’s own spad, Dominic Cummings, and dismissed on the spot for allegedly lying about communications with another ex-spad of Phillip Hammond (Say spad again). Ms Khan was then bundled out of No10 via armed police.

It may sound a little bit PC-gone-mad for some but it does not seem that the Government is having to play by the same rules as other employers when it comes to dismissing staff. Ms Khan by all accounts was an employee with a good service record and more than two years’ service. The reaction by Cummings and Johnson seems a bit heavy handed and shows complete disregard for the disciplinary procedure. Ms Khan now has strong grounds for an unfair dismissal claim.

For other employers, any dismissal would require an investigation, disciplinary invite letter, disciplinary hearing, disciplinary outcome letter and appeal. If this procedure is not followed than any dismissed employee, regardless of contributory fault, could have grounds for an unfair dismissal claim. Any award would likely receive a 25% uplift for the complete failure to follow ACAS Code of Practice 1 for disciplinary proceedings.

Whilst Ms Khan’s dismissal certainly isn’t the most controversial act of Boris Johnson’s nascent government, it does suggest that taking back control and removing accountability could be two sides of the same coin. Given much of the current employment law legislation are statutes introduced to implement EU Directives, could the landscape change dramatically post-October 31st? May be Mr Cummings thinks the law does not apply to him?