Good afternoon everyone – it’s a new month, so here’s the first HR news round-up of this October.
Ryanair pilots have formed an unofficial trade union in a battle with the chief executive, Michael O’Leary, over their employment terms.
O’Leary has clashed with pilots amid the fallout from the Dublin-based carrier’s recent pilot rostering “mess-up”, which saw more than 700,000 passengers affected by flight cancellations.
A letter circulated among pilots and seen by the Guardian indicates they are coordinating to derail Ryanair’s strategy of negotiating separately with multiple employee representative committees (ERCs), small groups representing individual airport bases.
Instead, they have now formed a central committee to replace the ERCs, in a move designed to improve their bargaining power.
A former TK Maxx worker who was dismissed following a fight with a customer over a pair of trainers has won an employment tribunal.
The Central London Employment Tribunal heard that Ali Sadeghi worked for the clothes and homeware chain for around 13 years in various store-based roles, including as general manager of TK Maxx’s High Street Kensington store.
In August 2016, Sadeghi claimed he was abused, including being sworn at loudly, by a customer after he told them he could not refund a pair of trainers because they appeared to have been worn outside, which would have been against TK Maxx’s returns policy.
The customer later wrote to TK Maxx to complain, with claims including that Sadeghi had tried to rob him off his phone when he tried to film the confrontation.
After receiving the complaint and reviewing the CCTV footage of the incident, some of TK Maxx’s management team called Sadeghi to a disciplinary hearing in October 2016. He was subsequently dismissed for gross misconduct.
Allowing Sadeghi’s claims, which included unfair dismissal and disability discrimination, the tribunal concluded that TK Maxx had gone ahead with its disciplinary procedure without first obtaining a proper medical opinion to confirm whether Sadeghi’s (already known) mental health issues had been ongoing.
Two-thirds (66 per cent) of employees believe working flexibly would prevent them from climbing the career ladder, new research has found.
Despite this, the study by recruiter Hays also revealed that four out of five (83 per cent) of more than 5,400 UK professionals felt flexible working was an important benefit. A further three out of five (61 per cent) said it had improved female representation in senior roles.