Over recent weeks, we’ve seen key judgments being delivered on employment status for gig economy workers. We summarise below three of these judgments and explain the impact they are likely to have on those businesses wishing to engage a flexible workforce.
2019 will see new employment legislation introduced and amendments made to existing legislation. Here’s an overview of the main changes to be aware of:
The Government has published its Good Work Plan. This sets out a number of changes to employment law designed to offer more protection for agency workers, zero-hours workers and others with atypical working arrangements. The Good Work Plan is the Government’s latest response to the recommendations made by the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices which was published in July 2017.
Employment Tribunal fees were abolished on 26 July 2017 and, since then, there has been a significant increase in the numbers of claims submitted.
The Supreme Court has clarified what amounts to “unfavourable treatment” for the purposes of a claim for discrimination arising from disability under the Equality Act 2010.
The EU Settlement Scheme is now partially open and is expected to open fully to all EU nationals who are resident in the UK, on 29 March 2019. Under this scheme, those who meet the requirements of 5 years’ continuous residence can apply for ‘Settled Status’ in the period up to the deadline (note the potential for the current deadline to change, set out below).
New employers are responsible for any accrued national minimum wage liabilities following a TUPE transfer. HMRC has confirmed changes to its enforcement of national minimum wage liabilities where there has been a TUPE transfer.
A narrow and controversial approach to the application of litigation privilege taken by the High Court which made documentation generated in an internal investigation susceptible to disclosure has been overturned by the Court of Appeal.
The IR35 rules, introduced in 2000, are aimed at reducing tax avoidance by contractors who provide their services via personal service companies. In broad terms, these rules seek to establish whether those classed as self-employed should actually be deemed to be employees for the purposes of paying tax. HMRC has been concerned for some time that many personal service companies who should be applying the IR35 rules do not.
New employment tribunal statistics for the quarter April to June 2018 have recently been published by the Ministry of Justice. The number of single claims lodged during this period increased by 165% compared with the same period in 2017, and the number of multiple claims increased by 344% (we understand that this sharp increase was due to a large multiple airline claim being commenced during this period).
Earlier this month, it was widely reported that Theresa May has confirmed that EU workers will lose their ‘priority status’ after Brexit. It is already the case that the citizens of some non-EEA countries must obtain leave to enter and remain under the points-based system. Most employers come across this in two ways: 1) whilst conducting the required right to work checks for new employees; and/or 2) in relation to the sponsorship of migrants under Tier 2 (highly skilled, long term workers) or Tier 5 (highly skilled temporary workers).
In Brooknight Guarding Limited v Matei, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that a security guard employed on a zero-hours contract was not a permanent employee but an agency worker under the Agency Worker Regulations 2010 (“the Regulations”).
New guidance on references has been published by employment relations body, Acas.
This guidance sets out a number of useful points for both employers and employees relating to the provision of references, including:
Can a disciplinary investigation that is considered “too thorough” render a dismissal unfair? In the case of NHS 24 v Pillar, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that including previous issues not treated as disciplinary offences at the time within a subsequent disciplinary investigation report does not, in itself, render a dismissal unfair.
What can employers learn from the recent spate of sexual harassment claims in the workplace? Hardly a day has gone by in recent weeks without a headline about sexual harassment, be it in Hollywood or Westminster. Recent research confirms that one in five women allege to have experienced some form of sexual harassment whilst at work.
The fairness of a dismissal depends on what the decision maker knew at the time of dismissal.
In the case of Royal Mail Ltd v Jhuti, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that an employee could not have been automatically unfairly dismissed for making a protected disclosure if the person dismissing the employee was not aware, or was ignorant, of such disclosures.
Uber drivers are ‘workers’ whilst Deliveroo riders are ‘self-employed’. The question of how we define employment status and the implications for tax and employment rights is one of the biggest issues in modern employment law.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his 2017 Autumn Budget speech to the House of Commons last week. We set out below the key points that will be of interest to employers and employees.
In the case of Baker v Abellio London Ltd, the EAT considered whether an employer could rely on illegality as the potentially fair reason for dismissal in a case concerning right to work documentation.
Can a ‘perfunctory and insensitive’ redundancy consultation render dismissal unfair? The EAT has held that it could do so in the recent case of Thomas v BNP Paribas Real Estate.