Employment Matters August 2017

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Employment Matters August 2017

Published 4 August 2017

The world of employment law has been very busy this month. The long awaited Taylor Review into how employment practices should change to keep pace with modern business models was published  - please see our alerts here and here. The Court of Appeal has handed down its judgment on what it means to blow the whistle "in the public interest". However, perhaps the most seismic development is the Supreme Court's decision that employment tribunal fees are unlawful. Employment tribunals stopped taking fees the morning the decision came out. It is likely that  an increase in claims, particularly from lower paid employees, will follow. 

Employers working towards their own obligations to publish gender pay gap information should note that the government's website, on which employers' gender pay gap information can be publicly viewed, now includes a link to each employer's narrative. Employers should draft their narrative carefully to set out their gender pay gap "story" - including early in the narrative key explanations for any gender pay gap and steps they are taking to narrow it. 

Also in employment news this month is the Court of Appeal's decision on what it means to be treated "unfavourably" in claims of discrimination arising from a disability. We cover this below. We also cover another whistleblowing case, where the EAT upheld a tribunal's finding that two non-executive directors were personally liable for losses flowing from a whistleblowing dismissal. We also look at an interesting case on privilege, and the imminent changes to the level of awards for injury to feelings.

Whistleblowing: non-executive directors personally liable for nearly £1.8 million following the dismissal of a whistleblower

Disability discrimination: advantageous treatment of disabled employee was not unfavourable treatment

The EAT upholds a finding that (with the employer) two non-executive directors were jointly and severally liable for the detriment suffered by a CEO who was dismissed for whistleblowing.

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A disabled employee was not treated unfavourably when his enhanced pension on ill-health retirement was based on the salary he earned when working part time due to his disability, rather than his full time salary.

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Discrimination: increases to awards for injury to feelings and personal injury

Privilege: confidentiality and “clean hands”

The Court of Appeal has held that the 10% increase in certain types of awards in county courts should also apply to awards in the employment tribunal for injury to feelings and personal injury.

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In this case, the High Court considered whether a document was privileged, looking at whether it was confidential as between the employer and the employee, and whether the employee claiming privilege had “clean hands”.

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Regular voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts and others has decided that voluntary overtime should be included in the first four weeks holiday pay where such payments are regular enough to amount to "normal" pay.

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Authors

Ceri Fuller

Ceri Fuller

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6583

Zoë Wigan

Zoë Wigan

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6564

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