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Read the latest from our Employment team in the August Update

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Read the latest from our Employment team in the August Update

Read the latest from our Employment team in the August Update

Our Employment team have pulled together recent news and updates to help you and your business keep up to date, as well as the legal issues to watch out for over the coming months, within the Employment sector. 

Supreme Court Decision on Holiday Entitlement & Pay for ‘Part-Year Workers’

The Supreme Court has delivered the much-anticipated judgment in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel relating to ‘part-year workers.’ A part-year worker is an individual who is employed for the whole year, but only works some weeks and not others, such as those who work during school term-time only. It was held by the Supreme Court that in those circumstances, paid holiday entitlement under the Working Time Regulations (the 'WTR') should not be pro-rated to that of a full-time worker.

In this case, the Claimant (Mrs Brazel) was a music teacher who had a permanent contract with the Harpur Trust on a zero hours basis. Mrs Brazel worked varying hours depending on how many lessons she had booked in during the week and was paid only for the amount of work carried out. She brought a holiday pay claim alleging that there had been unauthorised deductions from her pay in respect of the holiday pay she had received. The issue in this case was how the Trust calculated the Claimant’s holiday pay as a part-year worker. The Trust pro-rated the Claimant’s pay using the ‘12.07% method’ which was set out in Acas guidance, but has since been withdrawn. This method was based on the idea that the holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks is equivalent to 12.07% of hours worked over the course of a year.

Initially, the Employment Tribunal dismissed the Claimant’s claim; however, both the Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal found in the Claimant’s favour. The matter was then appealed to the Supreme Court by the Trust.

"The Supreme Court held that the ’12.07%’ method is not correct, and that there is no requirement under EU law that paid holiday entitlement be pro-rated."

This case will have significant implications for employers who employ members of staff on permanent contracts, but whose hours and pay will vary over the course of a year. In light of this judgment, we may now see a flurry of deductions claims in the tribunals from workers who have had their holiday calculated on the ’12.07% method’. We recommend that employers review how they calculate paid holiday for part-year workers.

New Guidance on Asking & Answering Questions around Workplace Discrimination

Acas has published new guidance in relation to asking and answering questions about discrimination in the workplace.

This guidance sets out a step-by-step guide as to how employers should consider and then reply to employees questions relating to discrimination in the workplace. This document also contains a helpful example of good practice to follow in such situations.

A copy of this useful guidance can be found here.

Government Publishes Guidance on Employment Status & Employment Rights

On 26 July 2022, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published guidance on employment status and employment rights. The Government confirmed that this guidance was issued instead of it introducing any new legislation on the different types of employment status.

This guidance deals with the following:

  • factors determining an individual's employment status;
  • recent developments in the labour market; and
  • how employment status should be determined for different sectors.

A copy of the guidance can be found here.

Barrister Awarded £22,000 in Discrimination Case

Allison Bailey, a barrister, has been awarded £22,000 in damages after winning part of a tribunal claim which was that she was discriminated against because of her views on gender.

Ms Bailey argued that her views wrongly resulted in her being labelled as transphobic. Ms Bailey lost her case against Stonewall, a charity supporting LGBT rights. However, Ms Bailey’s Chambers, Garden Court Chambers, were found by the tribunal to have discriminated against Ms Bailey by announcing that it would investigate a number of her tweets which rejected the idea that biological sex can be changed.

The London Central Employment Tribunal upheld Ms Bailey’s complaint against Garden Court Chambers over her view that no one can change their biological sex, and the tribunal ultimately held that her opinion was protected by law.

Get in touch

If you have any queries relating to this update, or require any advice on issues you may be facing in the employment sector, please contact Jon Taylor.

This article was written with the assistance of Kate Baggs and Jordan Pace.