Read the latest from our Employment team in the June 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.
Employment Tribunal Road Map Published for 2022 - 2023
The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals (England, Wales and Scotland) have published a ‘road map’ for Employment Tribunal cases that will be taking place in 2022 to 2023. This clarifies, amongst other things, the appropriate format for different types of hearings. Most notably:
- private preliminary hearings for case management will continue to default to telephone or video;
- public preliminary hearings to determine a straightforward preliminary issue will continue to default to video (whilst complex preliminary points requiring more detailed evidence will make greater use of in-person hearings); and
- preliminary hearings to determine a strike out/deposit order application will continue to default to video.
A full copy of the road map can be found here.
Pensions Regulator Performing Spot Checks on Employers
The Pensions Regulator (‘TPR’) has announced that it is performing an increasing number of spot checks on businesses across the UK which are suspected of having failed to comply with their workplace pension duties.
TPR is undertaking unannounced inspections in businesses located in Greater Manchester, Nottingham, Greater London, and Belfast. These inspections took place prior to the Covid-19 pandemic but had to be stopped over the course of the last two years, however they have now resumed.
It is notable that TPR does not just investigate a failure to automatically enrol eligible jobholders onto a qualifying scheme, but it also reviews any administrative errors relating to pension payments, non-compliance using real-time information data shared by HMRC and whistleblowing.
Government Guidance on Offering Work to Individuals Fleeing Ukraine
The Government has recently published guidance for English, Welsh and Scottish businesses in relation to offering work to people fleeing from Ukraine.
In summary, Ukrainians may need their professional qualifications to be recognised in the UK if they work in a profession which has a regulatory body. Secondly, businesses offering employment to Ukrainians should complete a vacancy information questionnaire (this is a short three page form which seeks to find out more about the role in question) which should be returned to the Home Office. The business will then be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions, who will share the job opportunities across the Jobcentre Plus network and with the Refugee Employment Network.
The full guidance can be found here.
Ban of exclusivity clauses in employment contracts
The Government has announced that it will be banning exclusivity clauses in employment contracts for workers who earn below or equivalent to the lower earnings limit (LEL), which is at present £123 per week.
In a nutshell, exclusivity clauses prevent workers from undertaking any additional work with other employers. In 2015, the Government banned exclusivity clauses for workers on zero-hours contracts. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has recognised that more assistance was required for those on lower incomes and has recently announced that it will be banning exclusivity clauses in employment contracts for workers who earn at least or below the LEL.
The Government considers that this ban will provide these individuals with further flexibility and allow them to take on extra work around childcare commitments and/or to enable them to study. It is also notable that workers who earn below or equivalent to LEL will also be granted the additional right not to be unfairly dismissed or subjected to a detriment for failure to comply with an exclusivity clause. The Government has confirmed that it plans to bring this legislation into force “in due course.”