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Need to Know: Employment and HR Newsletter – March 2018


Welcome to the latest edition of Need to Know, Winckworth Sherwood’s Employment and HR newsletter. In this edition we give an overview of the new laws and figures which are effective from April onwards, we look at the latest on gender pay gap data, making reasonable adjustments for disabled employees, as well as the latest employment developments below.

April Showers

April showers us with new laws and new figures for HR matters.

1 April 2018

The new national minimum wage rates came into force:

National Living Wage (per hour) Age 25+ £7.83

Standard adult rate (per hour) Age 21+ £7.38

Development rate (per hour) Age 18-20 £5.90

Young workers rate (per hour) Age 16-17 £4.20

Apprentice rate (per hour) £3.70

Accommodation offset limit (maximum daily deduction from NMW) £7.00

Statutory Paternity Pay is at the lower of 90% salary or £145.18 for two weeks.

Statutory Maternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay are at 90% of salary for the first 6 weeks and at a maximum of £145.18 for 33 weeks.

Shared Parental Pay is at £145.18 for 39 weeks less any weeks spent by the mother or primary adopter in receipt of SMP, SAP or Maternity Allowance.

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Mind the Gap?

The first round of gender pay gap data should now all be uploaded to the Government website. The Government’s stated aim of using the data to drive forward a debate across society about how to tackle the pay gap is being led astray by some poor journalistic reporting – some journalists appear incapable of distinguishing between median and mean and even creating a new concept of “average median pay”. There are some exceptions, with the Guardian going out of its way to explain that the pay gap isn’t about equal pay for equal work but is really about patterns of recruitment so that there are more women in lower paid roles.

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Can you avoid knowing about disability?

The Equality Act 2010 requires employers to make reasonable adjustments for employees who are “disabled” within the meaning of the Act but only if the employer has actual or constructive knowledge of the disability asserted by the employee. The Court of Appeal in Donelien v Liberata UK Ltd has recently provided guidance as to what constitutes constructive knowledge.

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Express HR: Employment law developments in bitesize chunks

  • Should on duty time spent at home when you are required to report to your place of work within 8 minutes of being contacted be treated as working time and therefore be paid? The ECJ has held in a recent case (Ville de Nivelles v Matzak) that time spent at home whilst ‘on call’ can be working time, and therefore must be paid. The case concerned relatively unique facts, including that the employee had to be within 8 minutes of work at all times, and so was constrained by very severe restrictions on his family and social life.
  • With regard to a provision, criterion or practice that is potentially discriminatory, the Court of Appeal recently held in United First Partners Research v Carreras that a strong form of request by an employer to work longer hours to an employee who had been working shorter days after being seriously injured in an accident (such that that employee felt obliged to agree to the request for fear that he may be made redundant or lose his bonus) did amount to a requirement to work late. This meant that the employee concerned was able to succeed with his disability discrimination claim.
  • The Women and Equalities Select Committee has told the Government that it needs “bolder policy design and a long-term campaign to change attitudes in workplaces and in wider society”. Its proposals include introducing 12 weeks’ paternal leave and pay to replace current shared parental leave, which it submits simply is not working to redress equal pay.
  • On 28 March 2018, the Government published a consultation on parental bereavement leave and pay. The consultation, which closes on 8 June 2018, seeks views on who should be eligible for bereavement leave, the period within which leave should be taken, what (if any) notice should be given and whether evidence should be provided to the employer.

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