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Government framework for voluntary reporting on disability, mental health and wellbeing: what is expected of employers?

Following the 2017 Thriving at Work Review, the government has developed a framework to support large employers with recording and voluntarily reporting on disability, mental health and wellbeing. The government hopes that transparency in this area will help drive the culture change which is needed to foster a more inclusive society.
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Government framework for voluntary reporting on disability, mental health and wellbeing: what is expected of employers?

Labour of love: foster parents are not workers under the Working Time Directive

In a case referred by the Romanian courts, the ECJ has held that foster parents are not workers for the purposes of the Working Time Directive. This makes it more likely that cases currently pending before employment tribunals in the UK on foster parents' entitlement to holiday pay are likely to be unsuccessful.
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Labour of love: foster parents are not workers under the Working Time Directive

Is it safe to dismiss an employee who is receiving long-term disability benefits?

The EAT has dealt a blow to employers, confirming that the purpose of permanent health insurance and similar schemes would be defeated if an employer could end entitlements under this type of scheme by dismissing the employee on grounds of capability. 
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Is it safe to dismiss an employee who is receiving long-term disability benefits?

Addison Lee drivers found to be workers: what can we learn from the latest case on worker status?

Barely a week goes by without worker status finding its way back into the headlines. The EAT this week upheld a tribunal's decision that three private hire drivers engaged by Addison Lee, which offers various transport services, are workers. The EAT confirmed the tribunal's ability to look beyond the contract in place to the reality of the working arrangements and endorsed the adoption of a "realistic and worldly-wise" approach.
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Addison Lee drivers found to be workers: what can we learn from the latest case on worker status?

Parental bereavement leave and pay: scheme starts to take shape

In September, the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 received Royal Assent (as we reported here).  The Act really just enables the government to introduce regulations and it has now published its response to the consultation, which took place earlier this year, giving some indication of how the new scheme will operate when it comes into force in, we expect, 2020.
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Parental bereavement leave and pay: scheme starts to take shape

What does the reform of IR35 mean for your business?

In his 2018 budget speech, the chancellor announced the widely expected changes to the rules on off-payroll working (known as IR35) in the private sector. The move follows reform to the off-payroll working rules in the public sector in April 2017.

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What does the reform of IR35 mean for your business?

Three months to go until GDPR comes into force: are you ready?

Has getting to grips with GDPR been lingering on your to-do list for the past year? With only three months to go until GDPR comes into force on 25 May, now is the time to push it to the top of your list.

Don’t panic if you have not yet started to prepare. Here are our top tips for getting your organisation ready:

  • Start with an audit of what data you hold and what you do with it. You can then consider what legal basis you have for processing the data. With the advent of GDPR, you should be moving away from the use of consent, which individuals are entitled to withdraw, to one of the other permitted bases for processing data. In the employment context, most data processing will be permitted as being required for performance of the employment contract or complying with a legal obligation. There is also a basis for processing where an organisation has “legitimate interests” to do so.
  • A new privacy notice will be needed to comply with GDPR. Consider having separate privacy notices for existing employees and for recruitment purposes. GDPR requires privacy notices to be concise, easily accessible and easy to understand. There is a significant list of mandatory information which needs to be included in a compliant notice.
  • If, like most employers, you have a data protection consent clause in your template employment contract, this should be removed from any new contracts being issued. You don’t need to issue fresh contracts to existing employees but you should let them know that you are no longer relying on consent and refer them to your new privacy notice.
  • Put in place a procedure for dealing with subject access requests – GDPR requires requests to be dealt with faster (within a month in all but exceptional cases) and without charging a £10 fee (except where a request is “manifestly unfounded or excessive”, in which case you can charge a “reasonable” fee). You should also have a procedure in place for dealing with any data breach and the new requirement to notify the Information Commissioner’s Office of such a breach.
  • Start training employees so that everyone is aware of their responsibilities.

Whilst GDPR brings with it the threats of significantly increased penalties for non-compliance, starting preparations now (if you have not already done so) will stand your organisation in good stead for the new regime. If you need support in tackling your preparations, please get in touch with a member of the team.

Three months to go until GDPR comes into force: are you ready?

Changes to Immigration Rules on continuous residence

In the latest round of changes to the Immigration Rules, two changes to the rules on continuous residence are likely to have a significant impact for many of those looking to secure indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK.
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Changes to Immigration Rules on continuous residence

Gender pay gap developments

A steady trickle of gender pay gap reports are now being published as 2017 draws to a close, leaving just over three months until the 5 April 2018 deadline for publication.  However, analysis by the Financial Times suggests not all of the published results are accurate.  Meanwhile, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) has published a toolkit to assist employers in calculating and publishing their gender pay gap data and then taking action to remove any gap.
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Gender pay gap developments

Brexit update

As you will no doubt have seen in the news, progress has been made in phase one of the Brexit negotiations. We have prepared a summary of the position on citizens' rights; whilst it has been stressed that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed", the lie of the land is starting to look a little clearer for those EEA nationals who are already in the UK.
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Brexit update