Every month, we bring you employment law updates in the form of bullet points.
- The extension of IR35 to private sector businesses, due to come into effect on 6 April 2020, has been postponed until 6 April 2021. (GOV.UK: IR35 Delay)
- The Government has announced that it will not enforce Gender Pay Gap Reporting for 2020 and therefore employers do not need to report on their Gender Pay Gap figures this year. (GOV.UK: Gender Pay Gap Reporting)
- Employers should note that the rates of Statutory Maternity Pay and Statutory Paternity Pay is set to increase to £151.20 per week in April, up from £148.68 per week, whilst Statutory Sick Pay is proposed to increase from £94.25 to £95.85 per week. (Personnel Today: April 2020 statutory maternity, paternity and sick pay rates published)
- The National Living Wage rate for workers aged 25 and over will increase from £8.21 to £8.72. Younger workers will also benefit from increased rates and workers age 21 to 25 will now receive £8.20 per hour, up from £7.70 per hour. (Gov.uk: National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage Rates)
- Although non-disclosure agreements (“NDAs”) are widely used to protect confidential information and prevent individuals making disparaging comments, ACAS has produced new guidance stating that NDAs cannot be used to prevent employees from reporting sexual harassment to a colleague or the police. (ACAS: Non-Disclosure Agreements)
- It was not unfair for an employer to dismiss a hospital porter who was charged with rape before he was convicted; the risk of reputational damage and the nature of the employee’s role within the employer was held to be relevant. (Employment Appeals Tribunal: Lafferty v Nuffield Health)
- The written reasons in the case that established that ethical veganism is a protected belief have been published and are notable for revealing the extent to which the Claimant adhered to ethical veganism – in addition to following a vegan diet, wearing vegan clothing and using vegan toiletries, Mr Costa used vegan financial products, avoided bank notes, would not sit in leather seats, did not permit non-vegan food to be brought into his house and would not date a non-vegan. (Costa v The League Against Cruel Sports)
- The duty for an employer to make reasonable adjustments in response to a provision, criterion or practice (“PCP”) that places disabled people at a disadvantage only arises when the alleged PCP has some ‘element of repetition’ as opposed to being a one-off decision made when dealing with an individual. (Ishola v Transport for London)
- Tribunal statistics for the period October to December 2019 published by the Ministry of Justice reveal 10,887 single claims were received (up 25% on the same quarter in 2018) and the most common complaints were under the Working Time Directive, unfair dismissal and unauthorised deductions from wages (GOV.UK: Quarterly Tribunal Statistics)
- As part of the Good Work Plan, the Government has announced that it intends to introduce up to 12 weeks’ pay for employees whose babies spend an extended period of time in neonatal care (Department for BEIS: Neonatal Leave and Pay)
- The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced that ‘Jack’s Law’, which creates a new legal entitlement to paid parental bereavement leave, will come into effect on 6 April 2020.
- The Employment Appeal Tribunal in Hexagon Sociedad Anonima v Hepburn has held that a contractual term stating that UK courts and tribunals have jurisdiction to hear employment disputes is a relevant factor in determining whether a claim in respect of work conducted in the UK can be heard.
- Poor mental health among employees is costing UK employers up to £45 billion per year, according to a joint report by Deloitte and Mind.
- Disability discrimination protections do not apply to any discriminatory acts which occurred before the date before the employee became legally disabled, following the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s ruling in Tesco Stores Ltd v Tennant.
- The Information Commissioner’s Office has amended its General Data Protection Regulation Right of Access Guidance to clarify that the one-month time timescale for complying with a data subject access request will commence from the date of receipt or, if later, upon receipt of proof of identification.
- The Resolution Foundation’s recent study has revealed that 26% of workers aged 25 and over are not receiving the National Minimum Wage despite being entitled to it.
- Employment Tribunals are entitled to hear claims against insurers of insolvent employers according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Watson v Hemingway Design Ltd (In liquidation).
- The Citrix ‘Future of the Working Week’ survey has revealed that 52% of respondents consider their working week to feel closer to a six-day week than a four-day week and 47% are putting in these additional hours “daily” or on “most days”.
- The Employment Appeal Tribunal in Q v Secretary of State for Justice has held that a Probation Service Officer was fairly dismissed for failing to disclose an alleged child protection issue in respect of her teenage daughter given the safeguarding implications of her role and the potential reputational risks for the Probation Service.