Seasonal worker scheme multiplies by four

Following concerns over a lack of migrant labour as a consequence of Brexit, the Government is significantly expanding its Seasonal Workers Pilot, which was first announced in 2018, in order to boost the UK horticulture sector for the 2020 harvest. The scheme, which permits agricultural businesses to take on seasonal migrant workers from outside the […]

Extension to the Furlough Scheme

The Chancellor has today announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“Scheme”) will be extended for four months, until the end of October 2020. There will be no changes in relation to how the Scheme is run between now and the end of July 2020. Between August and October 2020 the Scheme will be continue […]

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Tronc and tips

We know that many of our clients have been eagerly awaiting further guidance from HMRC about whether tronc payments should be included in the calculation of wages for the purpose of the retention scheme. The guidance has been updated to confirm that “any tips, including those distributed through troncs” are not to be included when calculating wages. […]

The job retention scheme: further guidance

Following on from our previous updates on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, both the government and the Treasury have provided further guidance, details of which are set out below. The most significant change is that employees must have been on the employer’s payroll and included on the employer’s Real Time Information submission to HMRC on or […]

Changes to written statements of terms

Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act sets out the right for an employee to be given a statement of terms of their employment. Such a statement contains key information such as holiday, salary, job roles etc. New legislation comes into force on 6 April 2020 relating to the rules around written statement of terms. […]

2020/2021 Rates

Quick and easy access to employment law data booklet. Following the announcement of our merger with Barlow Robbins, our data booklet which includes easily accessible brief employment law information, will this year be distributed a month later, in May. The data booklet includes the and limits for the upcoming tax year. As we know many […]

Employment law factsheet 2020

Whilst businesses are busy organising their workforces during the current Covid-19, there are a number of changes effective from 6 April 2020 of which employers need to be aware. Statutory rates of pay As usual in April 2020, a number of statutory rates of pay have changed. These are as follows:- Statutory Sick Pay has […]

Data privacy implications of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Data privacy law has always tried to strike a balance between individual rights and overwhelming social needs. With the COVID-19 pandemic now sweeping the world, Governments are taking extreme measures to save lives by encouraging social distancing and tracking infected persons. People in democratic countries are simply not used to some of the measures being […]

Job retention scheme – new guidance

The government has updated its guidance on the Job Retention Scheme which we have summarised below. Two additional requirements for employers are that they must have enrolled for PAYE online, which can take up to ten days, and have a UK bank account. The employer must notify the employee in writing that they will be […]

Assistance if you are self-employed

Following on from our articles on the Job Retention Scheme, we address here the support available from the government for the self-employed in response to COVID-19. Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) SEISS provides a similar level of support to the job retention scheme (80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month […]

Immigration for schools update: sponsored students affected by Coronavirus

The Home Office has released updated guidance to deal with individuals affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus (COVID-19). Tier 4 students affected by the coronavirus restrictions Tier 4 students are not normally permitted to undertake distance learning, however if they are forced to due to the current exceptional circumstances, this will not be considered […]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – employment issues update

Further to our Coronavirus Employment Law Issues article issued recently, we now have the latest information and guidance concerning the employment law issues with Coronavirus (COVID-19). Self-isolation for coronavirus and Statutory Sick Pay The government have announced this morning that an employee who self-isolates will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Whilst this is correct if […]

Immigration update: Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance

The Home Office has updated it’s guidance for individuals affected by travel restrictions associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19). Due to travel restrictions because of coronavirus some individuals may be facing uncertainty in relation to the expiry date of their current visa or leave to remain in the United Kingdom. As this is because of circumstances beyond […]

Firms failing to pay minimum wage

According to the Resolution Foundation think tank, one in four people over the age of 25 are beingpaid less than the minimum wage. The research also shows that the number of workers over the age of 25 has increased since the introduction of the National Living Wage in 2016 – from one in five prior […]

Government sexual harassment survey

In one of the largest ever surveys of its kind to be carried out, the Government EqualitiesOffice is surveying thousands of victims of sexual harassment as the government continues to address the issue of harassment in the workplace. Wanting to strengthen protection for workers, the government has issued a survey to 12,000 workers, inviting them […]

£17,000 for sacked pregnant worker

Liz Earle beauty company has admitted to falling “short of our standards” after they were ordered to pay £17k to a pregnant employee who was made redundant. Helen Larkin, who had worked for Liz Earle for five years, was eight months pregnant when she was given two weeks’ notice of her redundancy. After unsuccessfully applying […]

Samira Ahmed wins equal pay tribunal

One of the BBC’s most high-profile presenters, Samira Ahmed, has won the equal pay tribunal shebrought against the broadcaster. Ahmed, as presenter of BBC’s Newswatch, was paid £440 per episode. Yet Vine, as presenter of Points of View, was paid £3,000 per episode. Claiming that these were like-for like roles, Ahmed claimed to have been […]

Employees living on site

Many roles in the UK require employees to live close to their place of work. Sometimes, employees are required to live on site. In these circumstances, it is not uncommon for an employee to be offered accommodation as part of their overall work package. If you are considering providing accommodation for your employees, it is […]

Vegetarianism not a philosophical belief

Conisbee v Crossley Farms Ltd and others In an intriguing case, the Tribunal considered whether vegetarianism is a belief, and therefore a protected characteristic, or a ‘lifestyle choice’. Mr Conisbee, the claimant, resigned after being told off for not ironing his shirt. As he’d only been employed for five months, he didn’t have the requisite […]

Supervisor ordered to pay compensation

In an “unusual” move, a tribunal has ruled that a supervisor (as opposed to the employer) should pay a Claimant compensation. During a car journey, the supervisor made several racist remarks to the Claimant. The Claimant then told his manager what had happened, saying that as he considered the supervisor a racist, he didn’t feel […]

BA fined £183 million

In the biggest fine to date from the Information Commissioner’s Office, British Airways (BA) has been fined £183 million for a widely publicised customer data breach, whereby users of their website were diverted to a fraudulent site and their details were harvested by hackers.

Make your employees beam with a share scheme

Employee share schemes are increasingly common and increasingly seen as a cost-effective incentive for rapidly growing businesses in a range of sectors. We have recently seen some of the early schemes we helped to implement now come to fruition, which has been hugely satisfying. So why have employee share schemes become so common? We believe […]

Not all workers get 20 uninterrupted minutes off

In the recent case of Network Rail Infrastructure v Crawford, for workers deemed “special workers”, compensatory rest need not be an uninterrupted break for 20 minutes. This case concerned a railway signal controller, who had more than 20 minutes’ break available to him in an eight-hour shift but his breaks weren’t for a continuous 20 […]

When sacking isn’t religious discrimination

In the case of De Groen v Gan Menachem Hendon, a teacher was sacked from an ‘ultra-orthodox’ Jewish nursery in London because she was living unmarried with her boyfriend. The nursery, Gan Menachem Hendon, dismissed Zelda De Groen for acting contrary to her employer’s “culture, ethos and religious beliefs”.

No more staff parties?

Following a recent compensation claim for £300,000 against Cancer Research UK by one of its employees during a staff party, employers may need to review the potential health and safety risks at social events, and think twice before throwing office parties.

What is unfavourable treatment in discrimination?

The Supreme Court (“SC”) has clarified what amounts to “unfavourable treatment” for the purposes of a claim for discrimination arising from disability under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 (“EA”). In Williams v Trustees of Swansea University Pension and Assurance Scheme the SC held that a disabled employee who was entitled to a pension because of […]

Working parents to get bereavement leave

Employed parents will have a statutory right to two weeks’ paid leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018, which received Royal Assent on 13 September and is due to come into force in 2020, […]

Morrisons loses at High Court

The supermarket Morrisons has failed in its challenge to the High Court that it be held liable for a security breach that saw the personal information of thousands of its staff posted online. The case, the first data-leak class action in the UK, follows the events of 2014 when Andrew Skelton, then a senior internal […]

Christmas party bust-up: boss to blame. The case of Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Ltd

An employer can be held liable for the unlawful actions of one of its employees if it takes place during the course of their employment. This is known as ‘vicarious liability’.  ‘Employment’ is provided with a very wide meaning and can extend to social events that take place off-site and outside normal working hours.

Confused about holiday pay?

‘Flowers V East of England Ambulance Trust’This case centres around a group of claimants who worked for East of England Ambulance Trust.   Occasionally, they were required to work extra time at the end of their shift in order to complete a job such as caring for a patient or dealing with a call made to […]

Should you pay national minimum wage for sleep-in/on-call workers?

‘Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake’This case considered whether two care workers (Mrs Tomlinson-Blake and Mr Shannon) were entitled to national minimum wage for the whole time they were ‘on-call’ during the night, or just when their services were called upon.Finding in favour of the employer, the Court of Appeal decided that only the time spent […]

The high street suffers despite falling unemployment – ensure redundancy policy is fair

We have just seen the lowest unemployment figures since May 1975, but despite this positive outlook, in many parts of the country the High Street is suffering. Already in 2018, according to the Press Association, 21,413 staff have been made redundant or had their role threatened – the bulk of these losses being at established […]

Are you ready for gender pay reporting?

While gender pay reporting currently only applies to organisations employing over 250 people, it’s advisable that any organisation employing over 100 people take a keen interest in the legislation as the rules could be rolled out more broadly over time. Although organisations employing less than 250 people aren’t obliged to report, they can do so […]

Employee dismissal – being aware matters

In a complex and ongoing case, the Court of Appeal reversed a ruling by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) which had found that an employee could succeed in a claim for automatically unfair dismissal for whistleblowing even if the person making the decision to dismiss was unaware of the employee having blown the whistle.

Uber loses a battle but the war continues

In our previous update, we advised you that the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) had held that Uber’s drivers are to be classed as workers. This means that they are afforded employment rights, including protection from unlawful deduction of wages, entitlement to the national minimum wage and paid annual leave.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Christmas can be a notoriously tricky time for employers, with numerous social events and of course the inevitable office Christmas party. How can you deal with these situations if something gets out of hand? What do you do about calculating employees’ holiday allowance for the festive period? Our mini guide below will help you overcome […]

Changes to employment law proposed by review of modern working practices (the ‘gig economy’)

The gig economy is often defined as “a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs.” Prior to going mainstream, the term ‘gigging’ was most commonly used in the musical world, for those musicians who are only paid per concert, or ‘gig’ they do. Now the […]

An update on the gig economy

The term ‘gig economy’ is a fairly new term which you are likely to have heard in the media. Some have defined the gig economy as “a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs”. It is thought that approximately 5 million people work in this […]

Are your contracts clear on when notice to terminate employment is deemed to be given?

If an employment contract is silent on when notice is deemed to be given, notice of termination doesn’t take effect until the notice has been actually received. This may potentially have immense consequences for your company if it means the employee has completed an extra year service by the time they receive the notice, and […]

Update on holiday pay cases

The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal to British Gas in the holiday pay case Lock v British Gas. This provides some much needed clarity. We now know that results-based commission (i.e. commission based on sales received) and non-guaranteed overtime (i.e. overtime which employers are not obliged to offer but workers are contractually obligated to perform) must […]

Adekosan v Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited – can gross negligence justify dismissal without notice?

Usually when an employee’s employment is terminated, the appropriate amount of notice must be given by the employer. The Employment Rights Act 1996 sets out the minimum amount of notice that must be given while an employee’s contract could also stipulate that a greater amount of notice must be provided. If the employer dismisses the […]

Pimlico Plumbers & Anor v Smith: when is a plumber a worker?

Determining ‘worker’ status has been a major focus in the world of employment law recently, with several high-profile cases considering the issue. Aslam, Farrar and Others v Uber contemplated whether Uber’s taxi drivers were workers or self-employed contractors, while the employment status of CitySprint’s couriers was deliberated in Dewhurst v CitySprint UK Ltd. The issue […]

Apprenticeship levy- Are you prepared?

As you may have seen in the media recently, despite Brexit, the new apprenticeship levy (“Levy”) is still expected to come into force on 6 April 2017. It is hoped the introduction of the Levy will give employers more influence over how apprenticeships are designed and paid for. This article considers what the Levy is, […]

Tribunal fees report: the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees has “broadly met its objectives” the government concludes

Employment tribunal fees were introduced by the government in July 2013. They range from £390 for a claim for unpaid wages, to £1,200 for unfair dismissal. Official statistics show that in the year after their introduction, the number of claims brought had fallen by approximately 70%. There has therefore been much debate about whether the […]

Do you operate a holiday year from 1st April – 31st March? If so watch out!

Attention employers! Due to the way that the Easter bank holidays fall this year and next year, it is anticipated that some employees’ holiday rights may be breached next year. Depending on the amount of holiday entitlement afforded to employees, together with the wording of their contract, employers may find themselves liable for an unanticipated […]

The National Minimum Wage – make sure your business doesn’t end up on the government’s name and shame list!

On 15 February 2017, the government ‘named and shamed’ more than 350 employers who had underpaid their workers the national minimum or ‘living’ wage. Department store Debenhams topped the list of offending employers, having failed to pay £134,894.83 to nearly £12,000 workers. Under the government’s ‘name and shame’ scheme, the names of all employers who […]

The Trade Union Act 2016: an update

Last year we reported on the Trade Union Act 2016 (the “Act”) which received royal assent on 4 May 2016. The Act contains key provisions which apply to unionised work forces and have an increased effect on public services. In the words of the government, the aim of the Act is to ‘ensure strikes can […]

The Law Society calls for employment law reform in the wake of the ‘gig economy.’

There has been much debate in recent months over the legal employment status of workers within the ‘gig economy’ – a growing trend whereby corporations provide their services through a number of ‘self-employed’ contractors who (in theory) choose to work as and when they please. Because of their supposed employment status, those ‘contractors’ would not […]