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February ByteSize Employment Law

Here’s whats in this edition of Bytesize Employment:

Please click on the links above to view the articles, or download a PDF copy here.


Holiday pay – long awaited EAT decision is published

We have previously reported on the case of Lock v British Gas which concerns what is payable as holiday pay to comply with the Working Time Regulations 1998.  The case was heard in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in December, and has now been published on the EAT website.  

The EAT found, as expected, that commission should be included in holiday pay but the court declined to comment on a number of issues which still remain to be decided, for example the reference period over which the holiday pay of those who earn commission should be measured.  

There will be further guidance when the Lock case returns to the tribunal to determine the level of compensation.  There are many cases currently stayed in the employment tribunals in England and Scotland awaiting this decision so there will no doubt be further guidance issued in how these cases are to be managed.  Watch this space!


Gender pay reporting is coming!

The Government has published details of the principles which will govern the gender pay gap reporting regime.  As a result, employers with 250 or more employees will have to publish:

  • Mean and median overall pay gap figures
  • Mean bonus gap figures on an annual basis

In addition, employers will also have to publish the numbers of men and women paid across salary quartiles within their business and the proportion of men and women who receive a bonus payment within a 12-month period.

The regulations are likely to come into force on 1 October 2016, with a first reporting date of not later than 1 April 2018. A further consultation covering the details of the draft regulations has also been published and will close on 11 March 2016.    Please contact us for further details on how to implement the requirements if you are affected.



Sailing away from Safe Harbor

The European Commission and the United States have announced they have reached an agreement on new rules that will allow the transfer of personal data.

The excitingly named EU-US Privacy Shield has yet to be published but will replace the now defunct Safe Harbor regime when it is ready – which is expected to be around three months away.  

In the meantime the Information Commissioner’s Office has issued a blog post indicating that it will only expect what is reasonable of data controllers and reminding us of the availability of Standard Contractual Clauses and Binding Corporate Rules as an alternative.



How many times…?

Can you ask for a postponement in the employment tribunal?

The government has confirmed it will be implementing its previously published proposals to limit postponement applications to a maximum of two per party.  Applications to postpone a hearing must be made at least 7 days in advance, save in exceptional circumstances.  Where postponement applications are made less than 7 days in advance, employment tribunals will be obliged to consider making costs orders against the party making the application.  

Anecdotal evidence suggests this is not a major problem in any event.



Introduction of National Living Wage – are you ready?

A reminder that the National Living Wage comes into force on 1 April 2016.  Under the new rules a rate of not less than £7.20 per hour is payable to all workers aged 25 and above.  It is estimated that more than 1 million workers will see an increase in wages as a result.



Is lifting 25kg a normal day to day activity?

Under the Equality Act 2010 the meaning of normal day to day activities is crucial for deciding whether a claimant is disabled.  

In the case of Banaszczyk v Booker the EAT held that warehouse operations involving manually lifting and moving cases of up to 25kg was part of normal day to day activities.

This case is a good example of the fact that work related activities are quite capable of falling within the definition of normal day to day activities.  In this case the employee therefore fell within the definition of disability and the employer’s duty to make reasonable adjustments was engaged.



UK regulator consults on Privacy Notices Code

The Information Commissioners Office has released a new Privacy Notices Code of Practice (draft) advocating a ‘blended approach’ to informing consumers about how they intend to use their personal data.

The ICO developed the Code with compliance with the new General Data Protection Regulation in mind, as well as with the current law. “More precise and technical changes will be required once the final text is published and we intend to do this following this consultation process” the ICO said. The regulator is asking for feedback on the Code, which stakeholders may provide until 24 March 2016.

Posted on February 24, 2016

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