Employment Matters April 2017

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Employment Matters April 2017

Published 4 abril 2017

Spring is always a busy time for HR and employment lawyers given that many legislative changes take effect including uplifts to statutory payments. Two new pieces of legislation have also arrived: the snapshot date for gender pay reporting is nearly here (5 April). Employers in scope will need to ensure that they keep their payroll data so they can carry out the six calculations required under the gender pay regulations and publish them by 4 April 2018 at the latest. Another significant piece of legislation coming into force in April is the apprenticeship levy. All these developments were covered in our recent webinar, "What's coming up in employment law" which can be viewed here.

As well as these upcoming legislative changes there have been a number of significant cases this month including two European cases relating to wearing Islamic headscarves, a harsh Court of Appeal judgment against an employer who had dismissed an employee who had been on long term sickness absence, another Court of Appeal decision concerning notice of termination of employment and an EAT case reminding employers of the risk of indirect discrimination claims arising in redundancy situations.

Employers who are interested in the impact of Brexit on pensions will find our webinar here.

Discrimination: workplace dress code

Unfair dismissal and disability discrimination: dismissing for long term sickness absence

A ban on all religious dress that prevents a Muslim woman from wearing an Islamic headscarf is not directly discriminatory. If not justifiable, it may be indirectly discriminatory.

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In this case, the EAT made the difficult decision that an employer should not have dismissed an employee who had been absent for more than a year before it had looked further into medical evidence presented at the internal appeal.

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Disability harassment: no harassment without proving a disability

TUPE - service provision changes: what is the principal purpose of the grouping of employees?

In this case, the EAT held that a claimant cannot bring a claim of harassment based on a disability which he has claimed but had not proved.

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In this case, the EAT considered the correct approach to determining the "principal purpose" of an organised grouping of employees.

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Sex discrimination: redundancy of part time employee was unfair as tainted by indirect sex discrimination

Notice: when does notice take effect?

In this case, the EAT upheld findings of indirect sex discrimination and discrimination on the basis of part time working against an employer who had not offered alternative employment on a part time basis in a redundancy situation.

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Does contractual notice of termination take effect on posting, delivery, or communication of the notice if there is no express term specifying when notice will be effective?

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Breach of contract: nominal damages of £1 awarded despite taking confidential information

Where former employees breach a duty of confidence and make no use of that information such that the employer suffers no loss, the Court may award nominal damages of £1, despite the wrongdoing.

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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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