Employment law update: 2019 and beyond
There is much anticipation about what the implications of Brexit will be across so many business and legal areas, but what else is on the horizon? We flag up some of the employment issues arising in 2019 and beyond:
2019/20: the dates we know
Much will depend on whether there is a deal or no deal. For articles providing insight, in-depth analysis and an overview on key issues including immigration and employment, please visit our Brexit hub page here.
Gender pay reporting
Employers with 250 or more employees should now be preparing their second report based on their pay data snapshot as at 5 April 2018. However, the figures are just the starting point. Employers are being urged by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to provide a contextual narrative in their reports which gives them a valuable chance to set out publicly any reasons for a gap and their action plan to deal with it. Government guidance is also available setting out evidence-based actions to help create more effective plans.
For more information, visit our Gender Pay Gap Reporting hub page here.
The maximum penalty for an “aggravated” breach of employment law will be increased from £5,000 to £20,000 from 6 April 2019.
Taxation of termination payments
All termination payments above the £30,000 threshold will be subject to class 1A NICs.
Parental bereavement leave and pay
Employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18 will be entitled to take two weeks leave. They will also be able to claim statutory parental bereavement pay if they meet certain eligibility criteria.
Some cases to look out for in 2019
- Holiday Pay: in May, the Court of Appeal will look at the issue of whether non- guaranteed and/or voluntary overtime payments should be included in holiday pay calculations: Flowers v East Anglia Trust.
- Shared Parental Pay and discrimination: in May the Court of Appeal will consider whether shared parental pay should be enhanced to match enhanced maternity pay: Capita Customer Management Ltd v Ali.
- Employment status: the Supreme Court will consider whether Uber drivers are “workers” in 2019: Uber v Aslam and ors.
What else is on the horizon?
The ‘gig’ economy: the Good Work Plan
The Government published its Good Work Plan in December 2018 which it hailed as the “largest upgrade in a generation to workplace rights”. The aim is to redress one-sided flexibility, take into account new business models and technological advances and provide clarity for workers and employees. Read more here.
Ethnicity pay gap reporting
A government consultation on mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting on similar lines to gender pay gap reporting closed on 11 January. The response is awaited with no timetable yet for this to be introduced.
The Government is taking action to tackle sexual harassment. A key proposal is that the EHRC is being asked to develop a statutory code of practice. Consultations will also take place on tackling third party harassment, protection for interns and volunteers, how better to regulate the use of NDAs and extending time limits from 3 to 6 months for claims under the Equality Act.
The use of NDAs in harassment and discrimination claims will be reviewed by the government following an inquiry by the Women and Equalities Select Committee which closes on 31 January. The WESC is looking at whether NDAs should be banned or restricted, appropriate safeguards to prevent unethical use and their use by employers repeatedly when dealing with a single harasser.
With the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the area of immigration rights has been particularly active. For more information see our Brexit immigration update here.
For more information, please contact Nick Hurley.
Sponsor Licence Compliance: Key considerations & how to be audit ready
Join us for the third in our series of mini webinars on post Brexit immigration about sponsor licence compliance.
Do You Believe?
COVID-19 Vaccination – can an employer make it compulsory for employees?
We review what legal issues to take into account when considering to make vaccination compulsory as an employer.
Linking ESG and Executive Pay
How does a business go about embedding a focus on strong ESG performance into the structures and culture of its organisation?
Amelia Goodwin and Georgina O'Sullivan write for Pharmacy Business on managing employee performance
Why contractors should prioritise performance management of employees as a regular feature of their business strategy.
The UK’s New Skilled Worker & Intra-Company Visa Routes: a closer look
Taking a closer look at the UK’s new visas to assist UK businesses.
Have your say: MAC call for evidence on Intra-Company Visa Route
The MAC, has launched a call for evidence on the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) immigration route.
Sleep-in workers not entitled to NMW for entire shift
A unanimous ruling by The Supreme Court in the Royal Mencap v Tomlinson-Blake and another case.
Amelia Goodwin quoted by People Management, Home Care Insight and Care Home Management on the implications of the Supreme Court's ruling in Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake
The court found that care providers do not have to pay the minimum wage to staff for time that they are asleep but on call during shifts.
It’s all about the data…why has the government delayed hospitality reopening again?
Michael Powner quoted by People Management on the implications of Uber's decision to pay drivers minimum wage
Uber’s rollout of living wage will put further pressure on other gig economy firms to follow suit.
Rose Carey, Kelvin Tanner and Kate Gamester write for Compliance & Risk on navigating the UK's new immigration system
The article highlights the compliance pitfalls and how organisations can adapt to avoid them.
The UK’s post-Brexit rules for skilled workers – Key implications for the construction industry
As a result of the new Points Based Immigration System , UK companies in the construction sector will not be able to sponsor labourers.
How to manage redundancies: employee rights on redundancy
What rights do employees have when a redundancy exercise is carried out?
Michael Powner quoted by Personnel Today on the implications of the Uber Supreme Court ruling on the gig economy
While the case is fact specific, the decision is likely to be a very persuasive authority for tribunals ruling on others in the gig economy.
Michael Powner quoted by Bloomberg, PA Media and People Management on the Supreme Court's ruling on the employment status of Uber drivers
The Supreme Court unanimously found that Uber drivers are workers under UK law.
Nick Hurley quoted by the Daily Mirror on 'no jab, no job' policies
'No jab, no job' may seem clear and concise, but mandatory policies requiring the Covid-19 vaccine are far from straightforward.
How to manage redundancies: practical steps
What are the practical considerations when carrying out a redundancy exercise?
EMI share options, Covid-19, and Brexit – where are we now?
What are the new measures to employers operating EMI schemes that have been affected by the pandemic?
How to manage redundancies: initial planning
What should employers consider when preparing for a redundancy situation?