How to have a settlement discussion when there is no employment dispute or the employee is unaware there is an employment problem
Clients are often concerned regarding implementing a performance management process because a fair process can take a long time (potentially three to six months), substantial management and HR time will be involved in managing the process, it can be uncomfortable for both parties and cause distress to the employee. One option that employers may wish to consider in such circumstances is having “pre-termination negotiations” with the employee.
Is your business responsible for your employee’s actions?
The recent case of Various Claimants v Wm Morrisons Supermarkets PLC  EWHC 3113 addressed the question whether an employer can be held responsible, together with its employee, for harm caused to third parties due to the criminal actions of this employee, when the employer is not itself at fault.
In what circumstances might an employer obtain an order allowing it to search a departing employee’s external hard drive?
In the case of Cox v Spencer, The High Court granted an interim order allowing an employer to search a departing employee’s external hard drive and his personal lap top so as to ascertain whether they contained the company’s confidential information.
Express HR: Employment law developments in bitesize chunks
- Shell UK, EasyJet and the Bank of England are among those employers to have recently published their gender pay gap reports, all of which revealed an average gender pay gap of over 20%. At the time of writing, only 413 of the estimated 9,000 organisations with 250 or more employees, to which the gender pay gap reporting rules apply, have actually reported their figures so far, with less than four months to go until all such data must be published.
- From April 2018, it is proposed that statutory maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption pay and maternity allowance will increase to £145.18 per week, while statutory sick pay will rise to £92.05 per week.
- Aviva has recently announced that all of its UK employees who become parents – regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, how they became a parent, their length of service and level of earnings – will be entitled to equal parental leave. The introduction of such a policy is unusual, going beyond employers’ minimum legal duties, and is of particular interest in light of the appeal of Ali v Capita Customer Management which is to be heard by the EAT this month. Capita is appealing the ET’s decision that paying one of its male employees only two weeks’ full pay after the birth of his daughter, while his female colleagues were entitled to 14 weeks’ enhanced maternity pay, was direct sex discrimination.
- In an important case regarding holiday pay, the CJEU has held that where an employer refuses to pay their workers paid annual holiday and a worker therefore chooses not to take any, the worker does not lose their entitlement to paid holiday at the end of the holiday year. Instead his or her entitlement carries over to the next year and such workers can make back-pay claims going as far back as 1996. The decision could have significant cost implications for those organisations that hold themselves out to engage self-employed contractors, which are in fact workers, with significant holiday pay bills to pay.
- In response to the Stevenson/Farmer ‘Thriving at Work’ review, the DWP has recently published its ten-year strategy ‘Improving Lives: The Future of Work, Health and Disability’ aimed at redressing the UK’s disability employment inequality. While a number of the Stevenson/Farmer recommendations have been adopted, the government’s proposals plainly do not go far enough to achieve its stated aims and it will ultimately fall to employers to deliver the changes sought.
- Where an equal pay claim has been made against an employer and that employer subsequently becomes insolvent, the EAT has held that arrears of pay, which are payable to employees of insolvent companies by the Secretary of State from the National Insurance Fund, also includes equal pay arrears.
- Lastly, the government has recently “named and shamed” over 260 businesses for failing to pay their staff the minimum wage, in a continuing bid to discourage employers from breaking minimum wage laws. The culprits, including Primark and Sports Direct, have been forced to repay £1.7 million to affected workers and have additionally been fined £1.3 million.
If any of the above issues impact you or your business, or you have any questions, please get in touch with any member of the Employment Team.