We start this month with a story that has probably been bigger in the legal news than the main stream media - that is that for the first time in Scotland a company - Michelin - has been fined for unfairly sacking a grieving worker. Usually employment tribunal compensation is primarily based on the claimant's actual net losses rather than them being intended to be penal to the employer. However, in 2014 a new power was introduced which allowed tribunals to order an employer who has breached a worker's rights in circumstances where the breach has "aggravating features" to pay between £100 and £5,000 to the Secretary of State. Michelin has been ordered to pay the maximum £5,000. However, much like a parking ticket, the amount is reduced by 50% if they pay up within 21 days.
As we get closer to the BBC releasing their annual figures on their top earners, Sarah Montague, who has recently left her job hosting the Today show on Radio 4, has spoken out about her incandescent rage at being paid less than her male co-hosts. She was the only host not to appear on the BBC's list of those earning £150,000 or more. She remains with Radio 4 having moved on to host World at One.
Meanwhile a study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that the proportion of working age mothers with a job has risen by 50% since the 1970s. The biggest rise has been with mothers who have pre-school or primary school age children, making understanding the reasons behind persistent differences in earnings between men and women all the more important.
Some eyebrows were raised last month when it was announced that the next chief executive of the London Stock Exchange would be David Schwimmer. However, what at first might seem to be a dramatic change of career for the actor best known for portraying Ross in Friends, it is in fact simply his name sake, who has 20 years experience in investment banking, taking on the role.
Meanwhile film-making graduate Anastasia Glover came up with a novel way of applying for jobs following a fruitless search since graduating. While she has not yet landed a job her grime style rap "Gimme a job innit" job application has garnered multiple hits on LinkedIn with PR agencies getting in touch to help her land a job.
You will recall the images of David Dao being dragged off a United Airlines flight last year after refusing to give up his seat to airline staff. The aviation security officer who was involved in the incident, James Long, is now suing Chicago's Department of Aviation, its commissioner and the city after being fired for his actions. The basis of the claim is the Department's failure to train Mr Long in how to respond to an escalating situation with a passenger - had they done so he claims he would not have acted in the manner in which he did and would not have been fired.
Long hours culture is a prevalent and often complained about feature of the British workplace. But who is to blame, the employer or the worker for being addicted to their job? If you work obsessively hard in a compulsive way then you may be an addict. Help is at hand though - there are now more than 100 meeting groups of Workaholics Anonymous throughout the world following a 12 step recovery plan similar to alcoholics anonymous.
Does everybody at work seem to be getting younger? If you have walked into the offices of Social Chain then that is because the average age of employees is just 25. Does that mean they are going to lack the necessary experience to run a successful business, or can we all learn something from them? Given they talk about a "life-life" balance rather than a work life balance, it might just be the latter.
If you holiday in Canada you will no doubt have an expectation of good service standards in restaurants. Not so if you visited Milestones in Vancouver when Guillaume Rey worked there. The French waiter who was sacked for aggressive and rude behaviour has lodged a complaint with British Columbia's Human Rights Tribunal over the sacking. The reason - he believes his sacking is discriminatory as his behaviour was down to him being French and the direct, honest and professional personality he honed in the French hospitality industry!
And finally, how far would you go to boost productivity in your business. At Tesla, Elon Musk is attempting to increase output from 2,000 to 6,000 cars a week and has told staff to streamline operations by walking out of meetings, sidestepping the chain of command and ignoring company rules. Perhaps this will all be fine until someone is sacked for walking out of a meeting, sidestepping the chain of command or ignoring company rules……