Employment Matters for Health March 2017

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Employment Matters for Health March 2017

Published 6 March 2017

Among many employment law developments this month the Supreme Court has refused British Gas permission to appeal in the holiday pay case of Lock. This means that the Court of Appeal's decision stands: commission should be included in the calculation of holiday pay for the first four weeks of holiday under the Working Time Regulations (WTR) (see our alert from October 2016 on the Court of Appeal decision here). Despite this development, the courts' decisions are not a general acceptance that all forms of additional pay have to be included in WTR holiday.

Our view is that the position on payments like annual bonuses and voluntary overtime, together with the practical question of how the calculation of holiday pay is to be done, remain unresolved.

Gender pay reporting is taking up time for many of our clients. Those in scope have less than a month before the snapshot pay data for the first round of reporting will be set in stone. We understand from the Government Equalities Office that the draft ACAS guidance is being amended to deal with a number of queries about how to calculate working hours for those who work on hourly rates which vary with shift premiums or week-end working.

Immigration issues and workforce planning are also on our clients' minds. A day is a long time in immigration law at the moment. Read more about the current issues in our alert here.

Looking at other legislative developments, the major provisions of the Trade Union Act 2016 came into force on 1 March, imposing strict balloting requirements before a union can call official strike action.

Draft regulations have now been published obliging prescribed persons, such as the Health and Safety Executive, to produce an annual report of the whistleblowing disclosures they have received from workers in the areas they regulate.

The HMRC has issued practical guidance for public sector bodies and their intermediaries on the obligation to deduct tax from payments to contractors' companies or partnerships. There is also guidance for the IR35 companies affected. Our alert on this is here. We also understand that the draft regulations on recovery of termination payments are being finalised and will be laid before Parliament shortly. The draft regulations on the £95,000 cap on termination payments are currently being prepared. They will be released for comment before they are laid before Parliament.

Following on from the Uber case, another important case on worker status, the Pimlico Plumbers case, was widely covered in the news in February. Our alerts on these cases can be found here, and here. Data protection is a current dominant issue and we will be sending out a separate alert covering this later this month.

Unfair dismissal: dismissal for Trade Union activities

Discrimination: refusal of five week holiday to attend religious festivals in Sardinia was not indirect religious discrimination

The dismissal of a trade union representative for keeping private information that had been unlawfully obtained was not automatically unfair.

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Participation in religious festivals in Sardinia can be a genuine manifestation of religious belief, and so protected. However, in this case, the employee's assertions that he was required to do so were not genuine.

 

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Limits on tribunal awards and statutory limits to increase

Whistleblowing: annual reporting by prescribed persons

Limits on tribunal awards and statutory payments are to increase from 6 April 2017.

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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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