Welcome to our new 'Employment Law' monthly update.  This will provide you with a summary of those all-important 'Employment' matters you need to know about that have happened in the past month.  

Voluntary overtime should be included in statutory holiday pay calculations.

As confirmed in the case of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts and others. Read our article on this case here.

Inducements and collective agreements.

The Court of Appeal rules that asking if individual employees were willing to accept a pay rise despite the rejection of the deal by the trade union was not an unlawful inducement.  This is an important decision for those employers who have collective agreements in place with a trade union.  Our report on the case of Kostal UK Ltd v Dunkley & Ors is here.

Injury to feelings awards.

 The case of Base Childrenswear Ltd v Otshudi has shown that there is an increased risk of one-off acts of harassment being awarded higher compensation for injury to feelings.  Our report is here.

Statutory Shared Parental Leave Pay not sex discrimination.

 Whether you agree with the decision or not from a societal or employer point of view, the courts have ruled that employers do not need to enhance shared parental leave to match any enhancements that they may have for maternity leave.  The ruling concluded that a failure to equalise payments was not sex discrimination in the cases of Ali v Capita Customer Management Ltd and CC of Leicestershire Police v Hextall.  Our report on these cases is here.

Immigration salary rules to be reviewed.  

The government is proposing to review the minimum salary threshold for high-skilled workers, coming into force in 2021, reviewing the original figure of £30,000.  The government is also indicating that the salary rules may vary from region to region.  The committee is not set to report on its review until January 2020 and therefore there remains a long period of uncertainty for employers relying on overseas workers.  The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has also published a review of the Shortage Occupation List. The list now provides a wider range of shortage occupations to include all roles in occupations such as medical practitioners, nurses, programmers and software development professionals and adding veterinarians, web designers and architects.

Disabled workers.

The government has announced a number of measures to tackle the challenges and barriers faced by disabled workers.  A further consultation to be published in the next few weeks is also expected.  The aim is to consider new measures to help remove and tackle the barriers that disabled people find in accessing and remaining in the workplace.  Reform of Statutory Sick Pay is being considered along with a possible rebate for small and medium-sized employers when they introduce positive measures to alleviate disadvantages. 

Will a positive duty placed on employers to prevent sexual harassment? 

There has been much talk in the national and HR press about whether there is a need for a change in legislation to positively require employers to take steps to prevent sexual harassment.  Various unions, charities and women’s rights organisations have formed an alliance called “This is Not Working”.   

The campaign is calling for:

  • Compulsory guidance to explain exactly what employers need to do to prevent harassment – things like mandatory training;
  • Ability to report anonymously to the regulator, bypassing toxic workplace environments that leave victims unable to speak out;
  • Consequences for employers who don’t comply with the measures, making sure the onus lies with employers and not with the victim.

National Minimum Wage.

Labour has challenged the government on their record of ‘naming and shaming’ employers who breach the national minimum wage rates.  The last official naming and shaming took place in July 2018.  The Low Pay Commission also called on the government to renew the naming and shaming of employers in April 2019. 

Gender Pay Gap reporting for small companies.

The Government Equalities Office has indicated that they intend to introduce gender pay gap reporting to companies with less than 250 employees in or before 2022. 

TRAINING OPPORTUNITY.

Harassment, Diversity and Unconscious Bias Training.

Do you need your managers to be more proactive in managing bullying and harassment in the workplace?  Are you concerned that your managers have an unconscious bias that is affecting the way that they treat those who report to them? 

We have developed a half-day training session for your managers and supervisors which addresses the key issues that employers face when dealing with issues of harassment, banter, and diversity.  We also take the step of challenging your managers by getting them to recognise unconscious bias and stereotypes which may influence their decision making in negative and positive ways. 

Half day session:  £400 + VAT

2 x Half day session over 1 day: £750 + VAT

Contact matthew.huggett@carbonlawpartners.com for further details.