European Parliament approves law on more transparent and predictable employment for gig and other workers

European Parliament approves law on more transparent and predictable employment for gig and other workers On 16 April the European Parliament voted to approve the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive, which is aimed at strengthening the rights of workers and improving working conditions by promoting more transparent and predictable employment whilst ensuring labour market adaptability. The Directive applies to workers in casual or short-term employment, on-demand workers, intermittent workers, voucher-based workers, platform workers, paid trainees and apprentices, provided they work 3 hours per week and 12 hours per 4 weeks on average. Genuinely self-employed persons should not fall within …

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HMRC ‘s proposals to reform off-payroll working in the private sector will have significant impact for businesses

Private sector organisations who engage the service of individuals off-payroll are likely to already be aware of the private sector off-payroll working rules, commonly known as the IR35 regime. The IR35 regime applies where an individual provides their services (directly or indirectly) through a personal service company (a “PSC”) to another person or entity (an “End-User”) in circumstances where, had the individual provided their services directly to the End-User rather than through their PSC, they would have been an employee (or office-holder) of the End-User. Under the current IR35 regime, it is the responsibility of the PSC to determine whether …

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The spotlight on NDAs intensifies as Government publishes proposals for reform

The spotlight on non-disclosure agreements – or confidentiality clauses, as they are commonly referred to – is showing no sign of diminishing. The Government published a consultation paper yesterday, taking forward its agreement in December 2018 to implement one of the recommendations made by the Women and Equalities Committee to better regulate the use of non-disclosure agreements. With a proposal that non-compliance with the reforms will make future confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements void, this development potentially raises the stakes for employers who routinely include confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements entered into on the termination of an employee’s employment.  The …

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Deadline approaches for employers to comply with new payslip requirements for employees and workers

The Government’s achingly slow progress in implementing many of the key recommendations of the Taylor Review means that some of the proposals may be in danger of slipping from many employers’ radars. Indeed, a whole year has passed since the Government published its response to the Taylor Review (which itself was published in July 2017). Employers should be aware that in that response, as part of its aim to increase ‘transparency of entitlement’, the Government committed to extending the right to receive a payslip to all workers and to require that employers state the hours being paid for on the …

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Government consults on extending redundancy protection for women and new parents

The Government has launched a new consultation on extending redundancy protection for women and new parents. It comes off the back of key issues raised in the Women and Equalities Select Committee 2016 report and the recommendations made by the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices.  The consultation closes on 5 April 2019. In summary, the consultation: seeks views on extending the current redundancy protection available to women to cover the period of pregnancy and a 6 month period afterwards; asks whether similar protection should be afforded to other groups, for example, those taking shared parental leave or adoption leave; …

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Court of Appeal hands down judgment in Uber employment status appeal

The Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in Uber B.V. and ors -v- Aslam and ors, holding by a majority (Underhill LJ dissenting) that the claimant drivers were ‘limb b workers’.  The Court of Appeal has, however, taken the unusual step of also granting leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. The appeal focused on the conclusion of the employment tribunal that any driver who had the Uber App switched on, was within the territory in which they were licensed to work and was able and willing to accept assignments was, for as long as those conditions were satisfied, …

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Government’s response to WEC’s report on sexual harassment in the workplace

Earlier this year, the Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) launched an inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace, gathering a range of evidence from oral and written submissions. This culminated in July 2018 in the publication of its report on Sexual harassment in the workplace, which found that the Government, regulators and employers are all failing to tackle the issue. On 18 December 2018, the Committee published the Government’s response to its report. The WEC recommendations  The WEC’s report highlighted five key calls-to-action, including; Putting sexual harassment at the top of the agenda by: Introducing a new duty on employers …

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Worker status: Government publishes its ‘Good Work Plan’ in response to Taylor review consultations

The Government’s review of modern working practices has been a rather protracted affair but today there has been a significant development with the publication of the Government’s Good Work Plan, which sets out its vision for the future of the UK labour market.  However, as before, when making its initial response to the Taylor Review, the detail provided by the Government is a bit thin on the ground.  No draft legislation has been published, and there are very few indications of timescales for the changes. NB – SEE UPDATE BELOW. Employers should, however, take note of the key proposals which …

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Brexit: Deal or no deal? Is the future of the settled status scheme hanging in the balance?

Each day now presents new developments in the Brexit negotiations – and in an update to our article of 20 November 2018, the critical EU Summit has now taken place and the leaders of the EU27 Member States have now agreed the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the future relationship.   This brings to an end the negotiations which began some 20 months ago.  The terms have been declared the, ‘best and only deal possible’. So far so good.   However, despite this positive progress, a significant hurdle still remains.  The deal must now be approved by the …

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Draft withdrawal agreement is agreed (for now) – but what next for citizens’ rights?

On 14 November 2018, after many months of negotiations, the UK Government and the EU Commission finally announced that a draft withdrawal agreement (WA) on the legal terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU has been agreed, and at the same time they issued a ‘Political declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the UK and the EU’ . The WA is a lengthy document (running to nearly 600 pages) but, for employers, the key provisions of interest are likely to include the future rights of EU citizens to live and work in the UK (and, …

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Data protection cases in the spotlight

Two recent cases involving data protection have recently been in the spotlight.  In WM Morrisons Supermarkets PLC v Various Claimants, the Court of Appeal dismissed Morrisons’ appeal against the High Court’s decision that Morrisons was vicariously liable for the deliberate disclosure by an employee of his co-workers’ personal data on the internet. Unless there is a successful appeal to the Supreme Court, Morrisons is now facing liability for damages in respect of over 5,000 individuals. In Lloyd v Google LLC, the High Court has refused to grant leave to serve a claim on Google Inc (a Delaware corporation) outside of …

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ECJ rules that a worker cannot automatically lose his acquired rights to paid annual leave because he did not apply for leave

The ECJ has handed down judgment on 6 November 2018 in Kreuziger v Land-Berlin and Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, a case concerning the circumstances in which the right to compensation in lieu of annual leave on termination of employment may be lost. The ECJ concluded that a worker cannot automatically lose his acquired right to paid annual leave because he did not apply for leave. Mr Kreuzinger was a legal trainee with the Land of Berlin, Germany between May 2008 and May 2010. From 1 January 2010 to the end of his traineeship he did not take any annual leave. When his traineeship …

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Government response to consultation on parental bereavement leave and pay regulations

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill received Royal Assent on 13 September 2018. The Act will come into force in April 2020 and will create a statutory right to time off work for employed parents, with pay where eligibility requirements are met, following the loss of a child. The Act will be supported by Regulations which will implement the key details of the Government’s policy on parental bereavement leave and pay. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched a public consultation on what the Regulations will need to cover on 28 March 2018. The public consultation …

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UK Budget 2018: Employment

The Chancellor has delivered the 2018 UK Budget. Whilst the number of employment tax related announcements were limited there were some significant changes proposed, most notably in relation to off-payroll working arrangements in the private sector. Set out below is a summary of the key announcements.   Off-Payroll Working in the Private Sector As widely anticipated following its consultation earlier this year, the Government has announced that it will be reforming the off-payroll working rules (commonly known as “IR35”) in the private sector to increase compliance and bring them into line with changes made for public sector engagements in April …

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Government consultation on mandatory ethnicity pay reporting

A consultation has been launched asking employers to contribute their views on  implementing mandatory ethnicity pay reporting. It sets out options and asks questions on what ethnicity pay information should be reported by employers to allow for meaningful action,  who should be expected to report, and the next steps to be taken. In previous discussions, the Government stated that it preferred voluntary, business led ethnicity reporting, but given the small number of employers reporting and the different methodologies that have been adopted, it now believes that it is necessary to implement mandatory reporting. What ethnicity information should be reported? The …

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