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Need to Know: October 2022

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In this latest edition of our ‘Need To Know’ employment and HR newsletter, we look at when you can draw a line under an employment related dispute if you reach settlement, whether length of a contract can be used as a selection criteria for redundancies, and a legislation update, with guidance on staff suspensions during investigations.

We also have included our usual HR Bullets – which cover other significant employment law updates from the past month.

HR Bullets

  • A subcontractor who alleged he was not given enough work because he was a Glasgow Rangers fan and his manager was a Celtic fan was not unfairly dismissed or discriminated against, as support of a football team is not a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010 (McClung v Babcock Ltd and others)
  • An employment tribunal held that one colleague telling another, who identified her race as Latino, that she must have suffered oppression because of her race, was direct discrimination (Bradbury v Sky In-Home Service Ltd)
  • Although obligations under a Share Incentive Plan agreement were not part of the contract of an employee who was being transferred under the TUPE Regulations, these obligations arose ‘in connection with’ the contract and so were transferred to the new employer (Ponticelli UK Ltd v Gallagher)
  • If an original grievance report is not covered by litigation privilege or legal advice privilege, but an employer later asks legal advisers to review and amend the report, the original report does not then attract privilege retrospectively (University of Dundee v Chakraborty)
  • The real Living Wage has increased by 10.1% in the UK in the past year, making this the largest year-on-year rise. It is now £10.90 an hour in the UK, and £11.95 an hour in London (Living Wage Foundation)
  • On Sunday 2 October 2022, the government announced plans to raise the threshold that applies to many reporting obligations to 500 employees. The effect of this would be to remove organisations with fewer than 500 employees from the scope of regulations, including gender pay gap and executive pay reporting, which are currently triggered by lower employee numbers (typically 50 or 250).  This would apparently remove approximately 40,000 businesses from the relevant requirements.  Although the government announcement stated that the change would be effective from Monday 3 October 2022, it is not clear whether the plan will survive the resignation of Liz Truss as Prime Minister, nor whether legislation has been or will be introduced to put the plan into action.

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