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Insights

31 January 2019

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

March 2019

Brexit

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.

April 2019

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.

Aggravated breach

 The maximum penalty for an “aggravated” breach of employment law will be increased from £5,000 to £20,000 from 6 April 2019.

April 2020

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.

Sexual harassment

 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.

Non-disclosure agreements

 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.

Immigration  

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.

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