There’s plenty coming up in 2016, including:
National Living Wage: as we previously reported, the National Living Wage will come into effect from April 2016. Those over the age of 25 will be entitled to be paid a minimum of £7.20 per hour.
Financial Penalties: also due to come into effect from April 2016 are financial penalties for employers who fail to pay an employment tribunal or settlement awards. A warning notice will be issued first, followed by a penalty notice if the sum remains unpaid.
Employment Tribunal fees: employment tribunal fees are currently under review by the Ministry of Justice, and are the subject of a separate inquiry by the Justice Committee. Unison’s challenge to employment tribunal fees will be heard by the Supreme Court – a hearing date is awaited. The Scottish government has announced its intension to abolish employment tribunal fees in Scotland.
Holiday Pay: we previously reported on the case of Lock v British Gas Trading in which the European Court of Justice said that commission should be included in holiday pay (for the 4 weeks’ leave under the Working Time Directive). The case then went back to the Tribunal to decide whether the UK Working Time Regulations were compatible with the ECJ decision. The Tribunal decided that new wording had to be added to the WTR so that commission is included in holiday pay for workers with normal working hours. British Gas appealed the decision and the appeal was heard by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in December 2015, the EAT’s judgment is awaited. We will of course keep you up to date of developments.
TUPE: an appeal against the EAT’s decision in BT Managed Services v Edwards in which it was held that an employee who was off sick for 6 years with no prospect of returning to work was not “assigned” to an organised grouping for TUPE purposes, is expected to be heard by the Court of Appeal in June 2016.
Trade Union Bill 2015-16: currently going through the House of Lords, the Bill contains provisions to increase ballot thresholds, extend requirements of notice to be given to employers, introduce time limits on ballots and impose stricter requirements for unions to supervise picketing.
Gender Pay reporting: the government consultation closed in September 2015 and regulations are expected in Spring 2016 which will require employers with at least 250 employees to publish information on the gender pay gap.
We will of course keep you updated on all of the key employment law stories during 2016 via our free monthly employment law ebulletins.
If you would like to talk through a situation you are dealing with, or if you need advice on any aspect of employment law, please contact any member of the Pure Employment Law team (01243 836840 or [email protected]).