UK: Employment Law Blog - August Round Up

Last Updated: 9 September 2013
Article by Louise Fernandes and Richard J Kenyon

Our Employment Law Blog tracks all the key employment law developments. You can subscribe directly to our Employment Law Blog, so all the latest employment law news, opinions and developments go straight to your inbox.

Click here to visit our Employment Law Blog, where you will see the 'Subscribe to our blog' box.  To receive regular notifications of our blog posts, simply fill in your email address, select your preferred frequency of alerts and click 'Subscribe'.

To give you a flavour of the content on our Employment Law Blog, here is a round up of this month's posts.

New employment status comes into force

From Monday 1 September 2013, employers will be able to offer existing employees and new recruits "employee shareholder" status.

Employee shareholders are awarded fully paid up shares in the employer's company worth at least £2,000, in return for giving up various employment rights including unfair dismissal rights, statutory redundancy pay and the statutory right to request training and flexible working. There is a complete capital gains tax exemption on the first £50,000 worth of shares, and no tax or national insurance is payable on the first £2,000.

Click here to read more.

Protecting Employees from Internet 'Trolls'

The posting of vicious, discriminatory and abusive comments from behind the cloak of anonymity has become a major social media issue.   In a recent example, internet 'Trolls' have posted violent, sexually explicit threats against MP Stella Creasy and campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez via Twitter and action has been taken by the police against those who abuse football players online.

Click here to read more.

Holiday Pay – are your calculations correct?

The John Lewis Partnership has announced that it will make a one-off payment of £40m to compensate staff after discovering an error in the way it has calculated holiday pay for those working Sundays and Bank Holidays over the past seven years.

Click here to read more.

The burden of a lack of qualifying service

Employers facing an ordinary unfair dismissal claim will be familiar with the principle that the burden of proof lies with them to demonstrate a fair reason for dismissal and that claims for ordinary unfair dismissal require the Claimant to have two years' qualifying service.  However, there is a statutory exception which disapplies the two year rule where the Claimant brings an unfair dismissal claim on grounds which include, but are not limited to, dismissal relating to health and safety reasons, exercising the statutory right to time off or on grounds of having made a protected disclosure. 

Click here to read more.

Mind the gap – gender bias in bonuses highlighted

It is that time of year again when pay and bonuses are reviewed.  A report by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) shows that the existing gender pay gap is being exacerbated by a 50 per cent bonus pay gap.  Male managers earned average bonuses twice the size of their female counterparts over the past year – £6,442 compared with £3,029.  It is estimated that over the course of a working lifetime men stand to earn over £141,500 more than women doing the same role.

Click here to read more.

Dealing with subject access requests

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)  has published a Code of Practice on how to deal with subject access requests – a topic many employers will no doubt be familiar with and often as a precursor to, or during, employment tribunal litigation.

Click here to read more.

Office of Tax Simplification report – quick wins for employers?

Simplifying the multitude of different tax and national insurance rules governing employee benefits and expenses is a worthy goal, and the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has published its interim report identifying a number of "big picture" issues and potential "quick wins" to make things simpler for employers.     

Click here to read more.

Zero hours contracts – common ground?

The recent furore around zero hours contracts has been intense.  On behalf of the CBI, Director General John Cridland said "These contracts play a vital role as a way of keeping people in employment. If we hadn't had this flexible working when the economy contracted, unemployment would have topped 3m – and it didn't it went to 2.5m".  Meanwhile Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON was quoted as saying: "UNISON would like to see the use of these contracts banned – at the very least the Government needs an official investigation to confirm the true scale of the problem."   

Click here to read more.

Big brother is watching you?

The recent case of City and County of Swansea v Gayle examined the interaction between an employer's obligation to carry out a reasonable investigation into misconduct against the employee's right to private life, as set out in Article 8 of the often maligned European Convention on Human Rights.

Click here to read more.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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