In the news this month:

Holiday Pay, Defamation Allegations and Whistleblowing, Anonymity in Tribunal Judgements, Pay Gap Reporting, Brexit Bills on Immigration, Increases to Statutory Pay, Maternity Protections and the Senior Managers Regime.

Holiday Pay

Hein v Albert Holzkamm GmbH & Co. KG

In a recent judgment, the European Court of Justice found in a case involving a German employer that the calculation of holiday pay in the collective agreement was in breach of the Working Time Directive. Most importantly in this case, commentary of the ECJ also called into question whether overtime, including voluntary overtime, should be included in calculations of holiday pay.

Defamation Allegations Amount to Whistleblowing

Ibrahim vs HCA International Ltd

The Employment Appeals Tribunal has held that under the whistleblowing provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996 an allegation of defamation can constitute a breach of a legal obligation. Considered the whistleblowing “public interest” test, the EAT concluded that disclosures by the worker about the effect of false rumours on his own reputation did not however meet the test.

No Right to Privacy in Tribunal Judgements

Ameyaw v Pricewaterhousecoopers Services Ltd

A tribunal decision was upheld relating to a claimant’s right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Upholding the judgement regarding the online record of a tribunal judgment, the EAT agreed that the right to a free trial (Article 6) and freedom of expression (Article 10) under the ECHR were not outweighed by the claimant’s right to privacy. The EAT found that the tribunal was therefore entitled to refuse to grant an anonymity order, or restriction, under rule 50 of the ET Rules.

Extending Pay Gap Reporting Duty to SME’s

In response to recommendations of a House of Commons’ Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee report on gender pay gap reporting, the government has confirmed that it has no immediate plans to strengthen the current regime. Whilst acknowledging limitations of gender pay gap reporting, the government confirmed that Partner remuneration will continue to be excluded in relation to partnerships, and obligations will not be extended to companies with over 50 employees

Brexit Bills on Immigration

To facilitate the repeal of freedom of movement, end application of EU rules and protect the right of Irish citizen’s post-Brexit, the government has introduced the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill. The Bill repeals free movement provisions retained under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (including the implementing EEA Regulations) and ends the application of EU rules in the UK. Additionally, the Bill safeguards the rights of Irish citizens in UK immigration law once their EU free movement rights end.

Increases to Statutory Pay in April 2019

Increase to statutory payments for the 2019-20 tax year have been published as part of the draft Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2019.

As of 6 April 2019, statutory sick pay will increase to £94.25 per week, from £92.05 and statutory maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay and adoption pay will be increased from £145.18 to £148.68 per week.

Extending Maternity Protections

BEIS commenced consultation on 25 January 2019 seeking views on its proposals to extend redundancy protection for new mothers. The consultation proposes the extension of protection from the date of pregnancy notification to six months after return from maternity leave. The consultation also seeks to understand whether protections should be extended to similar leave such as adoption and shared parental leave. Consultation on the proposal concludes on 5 April 2019.

Financial Services Guidance

The FCA has published a consultation paper looking at improving clarity in relation to the senior managers and certification regime (SM&CR). The consultation paper proposes several amendments to the SM&CR designed to ensure the effectiveness of the SM&CR, support its objectives of reducing harm to consumers, and strengthen market integrity.

Menopause and your workforce

I am working with Iroko Consulting to present a series of seminars on the subject of Menopause and your workforce. The first of these will take place at the White Chapel Building, London at 9am on 16 May 2019. Please do let me know , or  click here if you would like more information.