In this month’s edition of Workplace Law we look at two very different recent rulings. The first concerns a claim of sexual discrimination in relation to shared parental leave and the second explores the Court of Appeal’s ruling against Addison Lee in a further boost to gig economy workers.
We also dive into two Covid-19 related topics with a piece that highlights the legal and ethical considerations of vaccine passports and an article that gives an insight into how to deal with employees who do not wish to return to the office after lockdown.
If you have any questions about these – or any other employment law related – topics, then please get in touch.
“Could I see your vaccine passport please?” This a stark request for personal special category of data that many of us could be facing very soon, and as the UK begins to unlock national restrictions and the COVID-19 vaccine programme progresses, the question of whether vaccine passports should play a part in this process continues to dominant the COVID-19 related news.
In Price v Powys County Council, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) were asked to rule on whether a male employee on Shared Parental Leave (‘SPL’) could compare their pay to a female employee on Adoption Leave for the purposes of a sex discrimination claim.
In the latest victory for gig economy workers following Uber’s loss at the Supreme Court last month, the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the company Addison Lee against an employment tribunal decision which found that drivers were entitled to the minimum wage from the time they logged on as ready to take passengers to the time they logged off.
An employment tribunal was recently called to decide on whether the dismissal of a laser operator was automatically unfair. Rodgers v Leeds Laser Cutting Ltd involved an employee who was dismissed after refusing to return to the workplace until ‘lockdown restrictions eased’ because he was worried for the health and wellbeing of his children who were particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
In this edition of Workplace Law we discuss the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding equal pay for retail employees and distribution employees; updated government guidance for those deemed clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 and changes to Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) regarding health and safety rights.
On the 1 March 2021, the government laid an order before Parliament to amend the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) and level the playing field between the protection offered to “employees” and “workers” in the workplace.
On 17 March 2021, the Government released new guidance for people in the category of clinically extremely vulnerable.
A recent decision by the Supreme Court in Asda Stores Ltd v Brierley now means that retail employees can be compared to distribution employees in equal pay claims made under the Equal Pay Act 1970 and Equality Act 2010 (EA 2010).
In this edition of Workplace Law we discuss the upcoming changes to IR35, the issue of whether or not employers can mandate their staff receive the COVID vaccination and the recent Supreme Court ruling and what that means for the gig economy.
Long talked about changes to off-payroll working rules for private sector organisations, which were originally planned for April 2020, are coming into force from 6 April 2021.
Ben Stepney from our employment team recently spoke to You Money about the legalities of so called ‘no jab no job’ clauses.
A recent BBC article highlighted how the havoc wrecked on the aviation industry has affected a huge number of pilots.
Happy new year to all our readers! We hope 2021 has got off to a good start for you all. In this edition of Workplace Law we cover whistleblowing, indirect discrimination and dementia in the workplace.
In the final part of our series on Dementia in the Workplace consider what to do if you are an employee who has been diagnosed with dementia. We discuss the obligations that may arise on behalf of both you and your employer, and the extra support you will be entitled to receive.
Devon and Cornwall Police recently failed in its appeal against an employment tribunal decision that found the act of transferring a police officer from a Response Team role to an office role after becoming pregnant was discriminatory, on the grounds of both her pregnancy and her sex.
On the 14 January 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) imposed a number of additional requirements on two firms in relation to the whistleblowing systems and controls.
Dementia is often thought of as something which affects people who have retired. But with state pension age rising and default retirement age a thing of the past, people will increasingly experience the first symptoms of dementia while at work.
The end of October brings the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘CJRS’), the unprecedented package of support that at its peak subsidised wages for around 30% of the workforce throughout the UK, and as of September 2020 cost close to £40 billion and counting.
This month has seen the publication of the full details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus (‘CJRB’).
Nick Hobden, head of employment explains the new support schemes announced by the Government
This case concerns an Austrian lawyer, Facebook, the Irish Data Protection Commission and GDPR. But please read on as it may actually be relevant to your organisation.
An employee can be fairly dismissed without any procedure after a breakdown in working relations.
As businesses begin admitting people back to their workplaces, many will be logging customer and visitor information for the purposes of contact tracing.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has said that the NHS Test and Trace system should provide employees who have to take time off from work to self-isolate with full pay. He considers that this would increase people’s engagement with the system.
If redundancies are still needed, you need to consider which roles are at risk of redundancy. As much as possible you should approach this on a ’no names’ basis. It is the role that is redundant, not the individual employee.
The Government has today released further details regarding the Job Retention Bonus.
In March 2020 the government rolled out the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which allowed organisations to place their workforce on ‘furlough’.
During an employee’s employment, you may well pay for them to attend training courses.
On 22 May 2020 the government announced that a 14 day quarantine period will be introduced for most people arriving in the UK from overseas from 8 June 2020.
The easing of lockdown and the winding down of the furlough (CJRS) scheme on 31 October means that we could see many businesses looking to implement redundancies.
It has been prepared to help employers, workers and the self-employed understand how to attend work safely during the various phases of the easing of the lockdown.
As the impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt across the country, the Government announced an extension of its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until 30 June 2020.
Welcome to the March edition of workplace law.
Welcome to the February edition of workplace law.
Welcome to the January edition of Workplace Law.
From April 2020, working parents will be entitled to two weeks’ bereavement leave following the death of a child under 18. The new law is also known as ‘Jack’s Law’ in memory of Jack Herd who died at 23 months and whose mother has since campaigned on the issue of leave for bereaved parents.
A female driver and trainee highway inspector has been awarded £73,600 after the Nottingham Employment Tribunal found that she has been constructively unfairly dismissed after her boss had relocated her as he had found her attractive and wanted to become a ‘potential romantic interest’.
At the beginning of this decade, the UK has agreed a ‘deal’ to leave the European Union (EU) and whilst we are sure that you are all bored of hearing the “B” word, we thought it would be worth a little update about … Breakfast. Just kidding, Brexit.
Welcome to the December edition of Workplace Law.
The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has confirmed in two combined cases known as TSN v Hyvinvointialan that where someone cannot take their annual leave due to sickness, the right to roll over that leave to the next year is limited to the EU minimum annual leave allowance of four weeks (20 working days), unless otherwise contractually agreed or stipulated by domestic law.
For a long time, individuals have provided their independent contractor services to ‘clients’ through an intermediary, such as a personal service company (PSC).
As Christmas party season is nearly over, it seems that lunchtime events and team-building exercises have been favoured over the traditional boozy party.
Ben Stepney explains what discrimination by association is, and outlines what employers need to be aware of, in an article for People Management magazine.
Welcome to the November edition of Workplace Law.
Earlier this month, anger in Japan surfaced following Japanese television network Nippon TV airing a story about employers banning female workers from wearing glasses, instead insisting that they wear contact lenses as an alternative.
Contrasting judgments of two, recent, Spanish cases show that surveillance of employees in the workplace is an evolving and sometimes uncertain topic.
Pardon the bun but there has been a flurry of media coverage regarding McDonald’s decision to dismiss its CEO, Steve Easterbrook after a saucy but allegedly consensual relationship with another employee.
This Halloween, don’t be caught with dusty old skeletons of contracts of employment in your personnel files. Instead, make sure that they are at the heart of your employment relationship and update it regularly so they don’t suck the blood, and your will to live, out of you in the event of a dispute.
On the 10 October 2019, the World Mental Health Day was aimed at suicide prevention. This was in conjunction with World Suicide Prevention Day which takes place on 10 September 2019 every year.
Welcome to the October edition of Workplace Law.
On World Mental Health Day, Thomson Snell & Passmore reflects on what mental health means for our clinical negligence and personal injury clients.
Welcome to the August edition of Workplace Law.
A warm welcome to Dominic Williams who has started as a Trainee with Thomson Snell & Passmore this September in his first (and best) seat, Employment Law. Dominic recently completed his Legal Practice Course and will be working closely with the employment department.
Protected disclosures or “whistleblowing” is a tricky subject and for a protected disclosure claim to be successful, it must first pass a number of tests. One of which is the ‘public interest’ test, i.e., is the information being disclosed in the public’s interest? If it is not, then it will not amount to a protected disclosure.
In Komeng v Creative Support Limited, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) confirmed that the main consideration when calculating an injury to feelings award is the effect of unlawful discrimination on the Claimant, rather than the gravity of the Defendant’s act.
A recent employment tribunal ruled that vegetarianism is not a protected characteristic for the purposed of the Equality Act 2010. Meaning that you cannot unlawfully discriminate against someone for being vegetarian.
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.
Individuals record meetings for a variety of reasons, some malicious, others to ensure an accurate recording of a meeting is taken.
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.
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.