Gender pay reporting: Who is in scope?

ACAS and the Government Equalities Office have published guidance on the gender pay reporting requirements due in force from April.  Employers will be required to publish information on their gender pay gap by 4 April 2018. The guidance leaves a number of questions unanswered, including: Which workers are in scope? We know that the report must include employees, zero hours employees and casual workers, plus other workers who provide personal services. But there are some grey areas: What about contractors who supply their services via their own service company, or an intermediary? The guidance suggests that the contractor would count towards the …

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Brexit White Paper: implications for employers

The Government has published its White Paper on the basis on which it proposes to approach negotiations with the EU on Brexit. There are three parts of the White Paper which will be of particular interest to employers: Controlling immigration; Securing rights for EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU; and Protecting workers’ rights. Controlling immigration As already widely reported, the Government will seek to end the free movement of people in order to control the numbers of people who come to the UK from the EU. Migration of EU nationals will be subject to UK …

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Brexit: Supreme Court holds that an Act of Parliament is necessary before UK Government can trigger Article 50

The UK Supreme Court today held by a margin of 8 judges to 3 that the UK Government cannot trigger the UK’s exit from the European Union without an Act of Parliament. It also held unanimously that UK ministers were not legally compelled to consult the devolved legislatures before triggering Article 50. Click here for more detail from dlapiper.com

Immigration Act 2016: New provisions now in force

The Immigration Act 2016 represents a significant milestone in immigration regulation creating additional duties and responsibilities on individuals and businesses. Immigration is increasingly under the spotlight and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future so it is therefore vital for employers to be fully aware of their responsibilities to effectively manage their risk.  Key features of the 2016 Act include the introduction of a new criminal offence of illegal working, criminal liability for employers who employ workers with reasonable cause to believe they do not have the necessary right to work in the UK and increased penalties for those who are found …

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Gender pay reporting regulations published, to come into force 6 April 2017

The Government has today published the revised draft Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017, which are intended to come into force on 6 April 2017. Under the regulations, employers employing 250 or more employees will be required to publish information about the gender pay gap in their organisation. The original draft regulations contained a number of problem areas (Se our Be Aware of 15 February 2016). Whilst some of those problems have been addressed in the new draft, some remain and there are some new problem areas to grapple with. Employees ‘Employees’ are not defined in the …

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Brexit: Update on the future of ECJ employment case law and directly effective employment rights

As we have reported previously,  the Government’s position in relation to the future of workers’ rights is that, through the mechanism of the “Great Repeal Bill”,  the UK’s EU derived employment laws will remain in place at Brexit and that workers’ existing rights will continue to be guaranteed in law.   This has been confirmed by both the Prime Minster, Theresa May and Brexit Secretary,  David Davis. Although this makes the position clear as regards employment rights which are enshrined in both primary and secondary UK legislation,  less certain is what the post-Brexit status will be of directly effective EU Rights, …

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Brexit: What next in the Article 50 judicial review?

The English High Court today held that the UK Government cannot trigger Article 50 of the EU Treaty to commence the UK’s exit from the European Union, or ‘Brexit’, without referring the matter to Parliament. This differs from the earlier decision by the Northern Ireland High Court, where the argument that exit required an Act of Parliament or some other form of Parliamentary mandate was rejected. Key points in the judgment  The UK Government had argued that in enacting the European Communities Act 1972 – the legislation which governed the UK’s entry to the European Union in 1973 – the …

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High Court hears legal challenge to Government triggering Article 50 to leave the EU

The High Court has heard 3 days of argument in legal proceedings brought by a group of individuals seeking to determine whether the UK Government has the legal power to trigger the Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union process to leave the EU without an Act of Parliament. A number of British citizens are suing the Government claiming that leaving the European Union will deny them rights derived from the treaties of the European Union which have been given force in UK law under the European Communities Act 1972, which they claim can only be removed by …

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Pay issues remain in the spotlight for employers

In recent times, pay issues have never been far from the spotlight. The Government’s proposals to introduce mandatory gender pay gap reporting have run alongside some high profile litigation relating to equal pay.   Although the concepts of gender pay gaps and equal pay are different, both place important obligations on employers and give rise to important considerations about how employers may wish to structure their business. Equal pay encapsulates the principle that men and women should have equal pay for equal work. Employees who feel that this principle has been breached must be able to demonstrate this by pointing to …

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Brexit timing clarified: employment law set to continue intact

The Conservative Party Conference has provided Theresa May, and her Government, with an opportunity to publicise their plans for the timing of Brexit. In her speech to the Conference on 2 October,  the Prime Minster announced that – Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty will be invoked by the end of March 2017, triggering the start of the UK’s formal withdrawal from the European Union.  At that point, the two year period of negotiations between the EU and the UK, to design the exit agreement, will commence. The UK will leave the Union by March 2019 (absent an agreed extension). …

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Holiday pay must include results-based commission: Court of Appeal decision in Lock v British Gas

The Court of Appeal has confirmed in its decision today in Lock v British Gas that holiday pay must include a representative element of results-based commission. The Court did not comment, however, on whether the 12 week reference period adopted by the tribunal for calculating the commission element was correct in all cases, and indicated that there may be questions as to what is the appropriate reference period in any particular case. The brief facts are that Mr Lock was employed by British Gas as a salesman, earning a basic salary of under £15,000 but with substantial potential for commission …

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Employers: Do your ‘right to work’ checks stand up to scrutiny?

Business immigration issues have not been far from the headlines since the Brexit referendum in June 2016 and, at the weekend, Theresa May announced that Britain will decide for itself how it will control immigration and that it “will be free to pass [its] own laws”. One of the key areas of focus in recent months has been on illegal working, where there have been significant developments. July 2016 saw the introduction of new measures creating a wider criminal offence with increased criminal sanctions, and the implementation of new enforcement powers for the Home Office – see our Be Aware …

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Termination payments – changes to the tax treatment

Following its consultation in 2015, the Government has now confirmed the changes which will be made in how termination payments will be taxed, and published draft legislation for comment. The changes will apply “from April 2018”. It is not clear at this stage whether payments pursuant to settlement agreements entered into before that time will be grandfathered under the existing legislation, but that may well be the case. Key points are: the existing £30,000 income tax exemption for termination payments will continue to apply, as will the unlimited exemption for employee national insurance contributions (“NICs”) (provided, as now, the payment …

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Employers must prepare for gender pay gap reporting as IFS report confirms 18% gap

Today’s publication of a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies brings the gender pay gap into sharp focus once again.  The report confirms that the hourly wages of female employees are currently about 18% lower than men’s on average, and that the impact of taking time out of the workplace for family reasons continues to have a significant impact upon a woman’s pay potential for the remainder of her working life. Although this news is unsurprising – concurring with previous reports – its publication is timely, coming at a point when addressing the gender pay gap is high on …

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The ill-treatment of domestic migrant workers because of their immigration status does not amount to race discrimination under the Equality Act 2010

Bethan Odey and Emma Phillips, Senior Associates in our Birmingham office, comment: The recent case of Taiwo v Olgaigbe and another; Onu v Akwiwu and another [2016] UKSC 31 has highlighted the issues which can arise in respect of the employment rights of migrant workers. The case involved Ms Taiwo and Ms Onu, both Nigerian nationals who entered the UK lawfully with a domestic worker’s visa. Ms Taiwo and Ms Onu were subjected to mental and physical abuse, paid less than the minimum wage and denied the required rest periods. Eventually, Ms Taiwo and Ms Onu fled their employers and …

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