It’s January, so Happy New Year and welcome to our first newsletter of 2019! With that in mind, we’re kick-starting this newsletter with a focus on the key employment law developments to help you prepare your business for changes in the coming months. So, here’s your essential round-up …
While the government continues to try to secure a deal, there’s also a drive to prepare the public for a possible ‘no-deal’ Brexit. When it comes to employment law, the government has already published: Workplace Rights If There’s No Brexit Deal, a series of technical notices for a ‘no-deal’ scenario. UK workers are expected to continue with the same rights under UK law (such as paid annual leave), which derive from EU law. Read more here.
Gender Pay Gap
With the 30 March and 4 April 2019 deadlines for Gender Pay Gap Reporting rapidly approaching, we expect that gender pay will continue to be a hot topic in 2019. While recent figures from the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) employment trends survey show 93% of businesses are taking action to close the gender pay gap, companies are likely to continue to come under pressure to narrow the gap. Read more here.
Ethnic Pay Gap
Britain’s black and ethnic minority (BAME) workers face a ‘pay penalty’ and earn less than white colleagues in the same jobs, according to the Resolution Foundation, a think tank. It found that 1.9m BAME workers are paid about £3.2bn less than their white counterparts every year. To help tackle ethnic disparities in the workplace, the government has recently concluded a consultation exercise on mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting. Read more here.
Government’s Good Work Plan
The Government’s Good Work Plan was described by ministers as the largest upgrade to workplace rights in a generation. However, it is important to note that the announcements – which included greater protection to gig-economy workers – are proposals at this stage and not new legislation. Read more here.
Workers do not automatically lose right to holiday at the end of a holiday year
A recent ECJ case has held that workers have the right to carry over untaken holiday into the next year. This is unless the employer can prove that it enabled the worker to take their entitled leave in the correct year and warned them of the consequences of not doing so. Read more here.
Court Of Appeal Rules That Uber Drivers Are Workers
In the latest ‘gig-economy’ case, the Court of Appeal upheld a 2016 decision ruling that Uber drivers were not self-employed. It found that the taxi and private hire drivers were regular workers who qualify for basic rights such as minimum wage, holiday and sick pay. The case will now be appealed to the Supreme Court. Read more here.
* Last year, the #Metoo campaign took off, with a focus on sexual harassment at work, and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). And in 2019, it’s likely we will see new proposals to help tackle the issues.
* GDPR – all eyes will be on the Information Commissioner in 2019, when it may issue the first fines for non-compliance.
With these developments in mind, we will be running a series of interactive masterclasses on (i) the use and ethics of NDAs, (ii) how to promote a happier, healthier culture at work and (iii) an update on GDPR. If these are of interest, please contact Beth Eaton at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your details.