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No requirement to enhance pay for shared parental leave

We blogged in June last year about the employment tribunal claim of Ali -v- Capita Customer Management Ltd where Mr Ali was successful in his claim for direct sex discrimination.  Female employees at Capita were entitled to 14 weeks’ full pay on maternity leave whereas fathers were only entitled to two weeks’ full pay on paternity and shared parental leave.  Mr Ali’s wife was advised to return to work early from maternity leave after being diagnosed with post natal depression.  Mr Ali asked Capita whether he could take leave instead and was told he could take shared parental leave on statutory pay.  The Tribunal found that this was direct sex discrimination.

The EAT disagreed and yesterday overturned the decision of the Tribunal.  They found that maternity pay is inextricably linked to the reason for maternity leave which is the health and wellbeing of a woman in pregnancy and following childbirth.  That is not comparable with a man on shared parental leave.  The correct comparator is a woman on shared parental leave.  Parents of either sex could take shared parental leave on the same terms so there was no direct sex discrimination.

Employers across the country will be breathing a collective sigh of relief following this decision.  It remains to be seen whether the case is appealed further but, in the meantime, this is reassuring for those employers who do not enhance pay for paternity or shared parental leave in the same way as maternity leave.

 

No requirement to enhance pay for shared parental leave

GDPR: subject access requests – what’s new?

Do not be complacent, GDPR is making some subtle but important changes to the well-known system for subject access requests under the Data Protection Act 1998 ……

Shorter timescale for response

Employers will have to respond “without delay” to requests and at the latest within one month of receiving the request. There are limited grounds for a 2 month extension but the employer must (a) notify the employee that more time will be required within the first month of the request, and (b) givethe reason for the extension.  Under the Data Protection Act 1998 employers had 40 days to respond.

No fee

Gone is the £10 fee regime under the Data Protection Act 1998. Under GDPR employers must provide a copy of the requested information FREE of charge unless (a) the request is ‘manifestly unfounded or excessive’ (we await further guidance on what this actually means…in the meantime we would suggest you don’t rely on it), or (b) the information requested has already been provided.  In those cases a fee may be charged where it is reasonable and reflects the actual administrative cost.

Refusing to respond

Where requests are ‘manifestly unfounded or excessive’ (this is anticipated to be a high threshold to meet) an employer can refuse to respond. However an explanation must again be provided within one month of receiving the request .  The employee must also be advised without undue delay of his/her right to complain to the ICO and to seek a judicial remedy .

Electronic access

Where a request is made electronically (eg, by email) an employer should provide the information in a commonly-used electronic form, unless otherwise requested by the individual.

What now?

These changes will have an immediate impact when the new rules come in May 2018 so now is the time to review and update policies and procedures dealing with subject access requests and to make sure that sufficient staff are trained and in place to deal with anyrequests in the new timeframe.

If you would like to see our other articles about GDPR please click here. If you would like more detailed guidance on how to get your business GDPR ready, please contact a member of the team.

GDPR: subject access requests – what’s new?

Watch out for ‘post employment notice pay’

At the moment contractual payments in lieu of notice are subject to tax and NIC deductions. In the absence of a contractual right to make a payment in lieu of notice, such a payment is generally regarded as damages for breach of contract, and can be paid without deduction of tax up to the £30,000 threshold.
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Watch out for ‘post employment notice pay’

Surveillance at work

The European Court of Human Rights has found that the covert surveillance of an employee at his or her workplace must be considered to be a considerable intrusion into his or her private life. It entails a recorded and reproducible documentation of a person's conduct at his or her workplace, which he or she, being obliged under the employment contract to perform the work in that place, cannot evade.
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Surveillance at work