Unfortunately, it seems that work is intertwined with stress. Despite stress at work not being a new concept, some of the top commentators are saying that we need a better understanding of our fight or flight response, which triggers stress, to help organisations deal with impacts of stress on their employees and business.
The #MeToo movement, fronted by Emma Watson, led to an outpour of historical revelations as it saw millions of women share their stories of sexual harassment and sexual abuse, especially in the workplace. The BBC conducted a survey which reported that 50% of women experienced sexual harassment at work.
Social media is becoming increasingly useful in the workplace as many employers find it to be an effective means of communication and promotion of their company. Despite its potential effectiveness in business development, social media can cause damage to employer reputation if used incorrectly or recklessly.
Welcome to the August edition of Workplace Law.
Welcome to the July edition of workplace law.
On 9 July 2019, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) published statistics on its analysis of its annual population survey which stated that the UK workforce is made up of the following:
In certain types of disability discrimination claims, the level of knowledge about the individual’s disability can be critical to having a defence or not.
Individuals record meetings for a variety of reasons, some malicious, others to ensure an accurate recording of a meeting is taken.
Welcome to the June edition of workplace law.
In this edition, we review the rise of disability discrimination claims, the effect that menopause is having on women at work, the potential claims of discrimination from vegans, shared parental leave and the work/life balance.
The UK has the longest working week in Europe but before we pat ourselves on the back too much for being such dedicated workers, there is evidence to suggest we are not working as productively as our European counterparts.
The Court of Appeal has handed down its judgment in two joined cases which concerned whether it was discriminatory to pay men on shared parental leave less than women on enhanced maternity pay terms.
It might be hard to swallow but veganism is on the rise, globally.
Menopause can be a challenging time and bring with it unexpected changes to the body that affect an individual’s daily life.
Research indicates that disability discrimination claims being heard by the Tribunals increased by 37% from 2017 to 2018. This may well be because of the abolition of Tribunal fees, but another strong contender is that stress-induced mental health issues are on the rise. This comes as with the increasing readiness of employees to allege that mental health issues amount to disabilities. There is also an increasing awareness of mental health issues and a tendency to hold employers responsible for these.
The Court of Appeal has handed down a judgement in the case of East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust v Flowers which concerned whether pay for voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay.
The Living Wage Foundation has recently launched Living Hours which is a new campaign aimed at FTSE100 employers and has been designed to improve job security for zero hour contract workers.
There are one million disabled people in the UK who would like to work, but are not given the opportunity by many businesses. YouGov, a global public opinion and data company, recently conducted research focusing on HR decision-makers, which revealed that many businesses are contributing to a disability employment crisis due to outdated beliefs and an unwillingness to tackle the issue
Welcome to the April edition of workplace law. This time we look at women’s progression in the workplace, the ethnicity pay gap, Brexit travel, National Minimum Wage enforcement and stress at work.
Stress is, arguably, inherent in work and is a nationwide issue. A recent report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that 37% of the 1,078 professionals interviewed had noticed a rise in stress-related absences over the past year.
There are various levels of national minimum wage (NMW) and national living wage (NLW) depending on an individual’s age.
New research suggests that only a small fraction of UK businesses have conducted any analysis of their ethnicity pay gap with legal restrictions and GDPR compliance being the main factors restricting them from doing so.
The Government Equalities Office has recently issued new guidance for employers on actions they can take to support women’s progress in the workplace. It is hoped that this will help to close the gender pay gap and increase gender equality in the workplace.
The UK has been ranked as one of the least family-friendly among the world’s richest countries; a new study by the UN’s children’s charity has shown.
Welcome to another edition of Workplace Law! In this edition, we look at the continuing increase in tribunal awards and statutory payments, the lack of awareness for holiday pay, mental health in the construction sector and suspension of employees.
In a case featuring London Borough of Lambeth, the Court of Appeal grappled with this question when Mrs Agoreyo, a primary school was suspended after two teaching assistants accused her of using excessive force against two young pupils with special educational needs.
We all recall the Taylor Review, published in July 2017, which looked at the labour market and provided a number of recommendations for workplace reform, addressing the status issues for atypical workers in the gig economy and agency workers.
Welcome to another edition of Workplace Law! In this edition, we look at ACAS’ updated guidance on age discrimination, the recent Ladbrokes redundancy selection criteria case and the gender pay gap.
Organisations with a headcount of 250 or more employees on the ‘snapshot date’ of 5 April 2018 are required to publish gender pay gap reports by 4 April 2019 at the latest.
Not only do some of their customers experience bad luck, but it appears that Bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral have had their fair share of misfortune this month.
Age is one of the nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 (EQA 2010). Under the EQA 2010, discrimination, i.e. the treatment of someone unfairly because of a protected characteristic, is discriminatory and therefore against the law.
Welcome to the first edition of Workplace Law 2019! In this edition we look at the updates on the Government’s Good Work Plan, the gig-economy Uber case, and the ICO’s no-deal Brexit data protection advice.
A warm welcome to Eleanor Hobbs who started with Thomson Snell & Passmore at the beginning of this year. Eleanor joins us from Hailsham Chambers and is working closely with the employment team and through her apprenticeship course with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has provided six practical steps for companies, including employers, to take in order to prepare for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit situation.
The Uber case was one of the first and arguably the most high-profile Gig Economy cases that contested whether the individual Uber driver was self-employed or a worker.
Move over 2019, we’re already looking at April 2020!
In December 2018, the widely-anticipated Good Work Plan was published, outlining the “Government’s vision for the future of the UK labour market”.
Welcome to a festive edition of Workplace Law, in the articles that follow we look at GDPR and the risks of allowing employees to access work emails from personal devices, Collaborative Employment Law and our Christmas wish.
In a November Workplace Law article we highlighted the continued uncertainty of the position of the three-to-four million EU nationals residing in the UK, and the employers that employ them, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The Employment Tribunal national user group has published the minutes of its most recent summit, we feel they highlight the necessity for businesses to look for new and innovative means to approaching disputes in the workplace
Is it a coincidence that X-mas and GDPR both have four letters in them? We think not, and so here is a festive update on GDPR. This is our present from us to you, you’re welcome
Welcome to another edition of Workplace Law, in these articles we look at the employment tribunal fees, EU workers rights on a no-deal Brexit and the research conducted by ACAS on sexual harassment.
In 2016, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) found that 52% of all women polled in their ‘Still just a bit of banter?’ report had experienced some form of sexual harassment.
The deadline of the 29 March 2019 for Brexit creeps ever closer and on a daily basis, we can all speculate whether we are heading for a “no-deal” Brexit.
It has been a little over a year since the employment tribunal fees were abolished following the Supreme Court judgment, which heavily criticised the fees and decided that they were unlawful.
Don’t be tricked by recent updates on employment law, let us treat you with updates on the scary Data Protection fines, parental bereavement and frightening vicarious liability. Happy Halloween!
A belated welcome to William Chrusciel who has started as a Trainee Solicitor with Thomson Snell & Passmore in September. This is his first seat but already William has assisted with a number of the workplace law articles and is working closely with the employment team.
There has been a recent string of vicarious liability cases seemingly increasing the remit for which an employer will be found to be vicariously liable for the actions of its employees. The case of Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Limited is another one of these cases.
The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Bill has recently received Royal Assent, and is expected to come into force in April 2020.
UK data protection legislation, including the new GDPR, is enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO has the authority to issue monetary fines of up to 4% of a company’s annual worldwide turnover, or 20 million euros, for those in breach of their data protection duties.
In this edition of Workplace Law we look at the new guidance on employment references, the call for a four day week and some tribunal statistics.
We’re not one for causing controversy but we couldn’t let this one just pass us by!
It’s that time again; the Government has published the latest batch of tribunal statistics detailing claims from April to June 2018.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) have produced new guidance on providing references in an effort to assist employers when providing references for departing personnel.
The hot topic
More and more people think they may be being discriminated against – but there are many different forms of discrimination which means potential claims are not always straight forward.
In this edition of Workplace Law we look at holiday pay calculations and the recent gender pay gap reporting.
We are really heating up this edition of Workplace Law as we take a look at the recent heatwave and the government’s recent list of employers failing to pay the National Minimum/Living Wage.
The saying goes “another day, another dollar”.
Summer has officially arrived and with it comes a heatwave. With some parts of the country reaching a scorching 30 degrees there are a number of heatwave warnings in place.
Welcome to another edition of Workplace Law. In this edition, we consider how you can survive the World Cup and the recent Supreme Court case involving Pimlico Plumbers.
By way of a very brief re-cap to this long running worker status case, Mr Gary Smith commenced work for Pimlico Plumbers in August 2005 and worked solely for them until he was released from service on 3 May 2011. During this time Pimlico Plumbers gave him a contract that labelled him as an independent contractor.
Football fever has once again gripped the world with the advent of the World Cup – Russia 2018
We wanted to say a big thank you and goodbye to Susanna Rynehart.
Shared parental leave has had a very low uptake on a national scale.
Whenever you are faced with an actual or potential employment tribunal claim, the first thing to look at is whether the claimant will/has lodged their claim within the limitation period for the specific claim(s).
Internships are an increasingly common route into work, particularly for young graduates. In April, the Institute for Public Policy Research published research suggesting that the number of internships has doubled since 2010. Of these internships, they estimate that one in five is unpaid.
Happy Easter! In this Spring edition, we consider the possible extension of shared parental leave to the self-employed, the increase in ACAS Early Conciliation notifications and tribunal claims and finally the recent case outlining that costs can be awarded even before the ET3 is served on the claimant.
Unlike the other civil courts in the UK, costs are not necessarily awarded to the winning side. Instead, costs can be awarded generally only when a party has acted, amongst other things, unreasonably.
Since the abolishment of the employment tribunal fees in July 2017 there has been an increase in both ACAS Early Conciliation (EC) notifications and employment tribunal claims.
Shared Parental Leave (SPL) was introduced to the UK in 2015 and allows mothers going on maternity leave to split up the 52 weeks of maternity leave and 39 weeks of statutory pay with their partners.
The transport and logistics sector relies upon having a flexible workforce, and the ability to require employees to work overtime is key to ensuring that customer demand is met.
Happy New Year and welcome to another edition of Workplace Law.
In this edition, we consider rogue employees when it comes to data breaches, covert cameras and the increase in tribunal fees.
We are certain that you’ve never read a more enticing heading.
Surveillance at work is a tricky issue. Employers need to protect their business and property, including against the risk of unscrupulous employees. The difficulty arises where this practical necessity comes up against data protection law and human rights.
We have a look at the future of the Fit for Work scheme, unlimited roll over of unpaid holiday and how softening the blow of dismissal can make life harder for employers. We wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
Dealing with performance issues can be awkward and it can often be easier to put it off and hope that the matter will resolve itself. Many choose to ‘soften the blow’ by giving reasons that do not reflect badly on the employee, like redundancy or reorganisation, what could be wrong with that? That way we can all avoid that awkward conversation that the employee is not meeting the requirements but still achieve the ultimate goal of removing the employee. Yes, that sounds good! Wrong.
A recent European Court of Justice case has found that where workers are not paid for annual leave, their annual leave entitlement will roll over indefinitely. At the end of their employment, they are then entitled to payment in lieu of their accrued entitlement, apparently without limitation.
The government has recently announced that it is scrapping the Fit for Work scheme in England and Wales from 31 March 2018, citing low uptake for the GP-led occupational health programme. When surveyed, two thirds of GPs had not referred anyone to under the scheme in the last year, and of those who had, 40% had no successful returns to work.
In the wake of a number of high profile allegations of sexual harassment we consider how to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace in this month’s Workplace Law. We also consider on going case law developments in respect of employment status and the risk assessment you need to perform for women who want to breastfeed at work.
The obligations on employers to carry out risk assessments in relation to new and expectant mothers are well-established. Where working conditions might put new or expectant mothers or their babies at risk, employers must carry out a risk assessment.
Just over a year ago two drivers brought an action against Uber in the Employment Tribunal (ET) arguing that they should be treated as employees. The ET concluded that Uber drivers were not employees but that they were workers as a result of which they were entitled to be paid the minimum wage, receive paid statutory holiday and be paid statutory sick pay.
Half of British women and a fifth of men have been sexual harassed in the workplace, a BBC report revealed recently.
The #metoo campaign that’s swarming social media has revealed that many individuals are not aware of what actually constitutes sexual harassment and that there are far more victims then we currently think.
The management of mental health in the workplace has been hitting headlines in recent months.
In October, the Thriving at Work report, commissioned by Prime Minister Theresa May, found that up to 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems have to leave their jobs each year, with poor mental health costing the UK economy up to £99billion annually.
The government has announced a new Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS) to help care providers who have underpaid workers carrying out sleep-in shifts in the past.
The workplace as we know is ever evolving so make sure you are up to date with the latest issues in the workplace by reading this edition where we consider the ECJ ruling on discrimination for Greek police, previous incidents at work being considered in a misconduct dismissal and the taxation position of termination payments from April 2018.
The Court of Appeal has found that segregation of pupils by sex at an Islamic faith school in Birmingham was directly discriminatory.
Could you live without a job? For some the answer is ‘of course, as long as I win the lottery!’ But for the majority of us, our employment is our livelihood; it pays for the food on our table, the clothes on our backs to the cars we drive.
Love them or hate them, tattoos are popular and more and more people have them. From Judi Dench to Harry Styles, an increasing amount of people are choosing to decorate their bodies with ink.
Last year, in Barbulescu v Romania, the European Court of Human Rights decided that employers were able to monitor their workers’ emails where there was a good reason for doing so. Now, in a surprising turn of events, that decision has been reversed on appeal.
E-cigarettes have not been around long but you can find an E-cigarette shop in almost every high street or shopping centre and it is estimated that there are circa 2.8 million E-cigarette users in the UK.
The conciliatory service ACAS recently published a report focused on workplace attitudes towards supporting parents who take extended leave to care for children. The report, Flexible Working for Parents Returning to Work – Maintaining career development, confirms that while there’s been a big push for employers to encourage women to feel comfortable taking maternity leave without losing their status in the workplace, the same can not be said for their male counterparts.
The workplace as we know is ever evolving so make sure you are up to date with the latest issues in the workplace by reading this edition where we consider vaping at work, monitoring employees and the tattoo taboo..
There are over 95,000 babies born prematurely in the UK every year. Currently there are no enhanced or additional maternity or paternity rights for parents of babies born early.
With effect from the 11 September 2017 there will be a very significant rise in compensation awards for injury to feelings or psychiatric injury in discrimination cases.
On 26 July 2017, the UK Supreme Court ruled that the employment tribunal fees regime, introduced in 2013, was unlawful. The government had already undertaken that if it lost the case it would refund the fees paid over the last four years.
There is lots of information in our August edition of Workplace Law, we have split it into three sections. These include: Voluntary overtime - we talk about a new ruling which will be welcomed by employers who are paid overtime. Statutory payments - employers need to alter how they have been calculating various statutory payments. Injuries to feelings in the workplace - a recent case (De Souza v Vinci Construction) resolved questions as to whether civil courts can now apply injuries to feelings.
Just before Parliament broke up for its summer break, the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill was introduced into the House. The bill proposes that employed parents who have lost a child will, for the first time, get statutory paid leave to grieve.
Whilst this decision cannot compete with the recent employment tribunal fees ruling in terms of consequences for employers, it does go against over 20 years of established practice and will come as a shock to most employers.
A recent case involving an NHS trust has demonstrated that, for a group of employees to transfer to a new contractor under TUPE, it is essential that they are organised for the principle purpose of carrying out the end client’s particular work.