Employment Law 2017 - What to look out for…
Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016 (the “Regulations”)
In force as of April 2017 the Regulations will require employers with more than 250 employees to publish information about the differences in pay between men and women. The first report is expected to be due on 4 April 2018 based on pay and bonus data collected in 2016/17.
Salary Sacrifice Schemes
The schemes will be restricted. Tax and employer NIC advantages will be removed as of April 2017. Employers and employees who enter into arrangements prior to April 2017 will be protected under transitional provisions until April 2018.
National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage
New rates were announced in the Autumn Statement and changes will take effect on 1 April 2017.
New National Minimum Wage rates:
- Apprentices: £3.50 per hour;
- 16 to 17 year olds: £4.05 per hour;
- 18 to 20 year olds: £5.60 per hour;
- 21 to 24 year olds: £7.05 per hour.
New National Living Wage rate:
- Rise to £7.50 per hour for workers aged 25 and over.
If an employer’s annual payroll is more than £3 million, they will be required to pay a 0.5% Apprenticeship Levy on their total pay bill with effect from 6 April 2017. The employer can then access the levied amount (plus a government top up of 10%) to fund apprenticeships.
Aslam and others v Uber BV and others
In 2016, the Employment Tribunal held that drivers driving customers for the transport network Uber were to be classed as “workers” rather than self employed. This means that (as workers) they will be entitled to basic employment rights, such as the entitlement to receive the national minimum wage and paid annual leave. It is expected that the case will progress to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) this year.
Brierley and others v Asda Stores Ltd
In 2016 female claimants working in Asdas retail stores were granted the right to compare themselves to male colleagues working in distribution depots for the purposes of equal pay comparison. This case is considered to be the biggest private sector equal pay claim ever with an estimated value of £100m and is expected to be heard this year.
Chesterton Global (t/a Chestertons) v Nurmohamed
This case centres around whistleblowing laws. Whistleblowing laws provide that a disclosure is not protected unless the employee reasonably believes that the disclosure is being made in the public interest. In this case, the EAT held that a disclosure made in relation to pay for more than 100 senior managers could be in the public interest. The Court of Appeal will hear the case in June 2017.
Since June 2013, whistleblowing laws have provided that a disclosure is not protected unless the employee reasonably believes that the disclosure is being made “in the public interest”.
The EAT in Chesterton held that matters potentially affecting the operation of the commission scheme of more than 100 managers at a large firm of estate agents could be “in the public interest”.
The Court of Appeal is expected to decide whether or not the EAT’s liberal interpretation in Chesterton of what that phrase means is correct.
R (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor and another
The Supreme Court will consider whether the implementation of tribunal fees (which have been in place since July 2013) is unlawful. Under the legislation, claimants are required to pay anything between £160 to £250 when lodging a claim.
British Gas Trading Ltd v Lock and another
Towards the end of 2016, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Working Time Regulations should be interpreted to require the inclusion of commission when calculating holiday pay. Given that this could bare a significant financial burden on not only British Gas, but thousands of other employers it is expected that the case will reach the Supreme Court.
For more information, please contact our employment team on 0345 070 6000.