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Sickness absences at lowest average since 1993!

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed a significant fall in the number of days employees are taking off work due to sickness. The ONS reported that an average of 4.1 sick days were taken in 2017, compared to 7.1 in 1993 (the year records began).
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Sickness absences at lowest average since 1993!

Only 20 per cent of tribunal fees have been refunded since Supreme Court ruling

Following the Supreme Court ruling which declared tribunal fees unlawful, the government pledged to refund those who had paid tribunal fees between 29 July 2013 and 26 July 2017. An official refund programme was set up in October 2017 to handle the process.
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Only 20 per cent of tribunal fees have been refunded since Supreme Court ruling

Migrants’ rights in the spotlight

Brexit is thought to be one of the reasons why the Tier 2 (General) restricted Certificate of Sponsorship cap has been reached. However, we may at last be seeing some reprieve from this.
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Migrants’ rights in the spotlight

“Pitiful” and “patronising” – the excuses given for the lack of female presence in FTSE boardrooms

The Hampton-Alexander Review, an independent review backed by the government to scrutinise the gender balance of boards at the top of the country's leading companies, released a report this week which lists some of the excuses given by companies for a lack of female representation on their boards.
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“Pitiful” and “patronising” – the excuses given for the lack of female presence in FTSE boardrooms

The gender pay gap reporting deadline has now passed – so what have we learned?

The deadline passed at midnight last night for private businesses with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap report.

More than 10,000 companies have now published their report. Interestingly over 1,100 companies published their report on the day of the deadline, which is more than the total number of companies that reported in the first 326 days of the scheme. Some have argued that such late publishing was, in certain cases, a tactic to bury unflattering results in the last-minute flood of reporting.

From the data published so far we have learned that 78 per cent of companies pay men more than women, 14 per cent pay women more than men and 8 per cent have reported no gender pay gap at all.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, men are paid more than women in every single industry sector, with construction representing the largest gap, followed by finance and insurance.

It is not yet clear what level of punishment those that have failed to publish their pay gap results may face. Though, as we have previously reported on this blog, companies may be named and shamed on a public list on the government portal, and that those that continue to fail to report might ultimately face a summary conviction, be subject to an unlimited fine and be forced to publish the data under a court order.

The gender pay gap reporting deadline has now passed – so what have we learned?

Vento bands increase announced

The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and Scotland have issued new guidance updating the bands of awards for “injury to feelings”, in the event that employees suffer from discrimination in the workplace.

The compensation available for injury to feelings is divided into four categories, depending on the seriousness of the discrimination that occurred, known as the Vento bands. The increased Vento bands, which will be effective for any claims issued on or after 6 April 2018, will be as follows: £900 to £8,600 for less serious cases (the lower band), £8,600 to £25,700 for serious cases (the middle band) and £25,700 to £42,900 for the most serious cases (the upper band). Compensation over £42,900 can be awarded by the Employment Tribunal in exceptional cases.

This increase should act as a reminder for employers to make sure that they are taking all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination in the workplace, including implementing up-to-date equal opportunities and anti-bullying and harassment policies, and carrying out regular diversity training.

Vento bands increase announced

IFS report: Part-time work is playing a major role in the gender pay gap

The latest report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has highlighted the prevalence of part-time working among women, and particularly mothers, as contributing significantly to the gender pay gap, which although down from 30 per cent from the early 90s still stands at around 20 per cent.
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IFS report: Part-time work is playing a major role in the gender pay gap

Summary Dismissal – Calculating the Effective Date of Termination

In the recent case of Cosmeceuticals Ltd v. Parkin it was held that the effective date of termination (EDT) is not moved if notice is subsequently given following an earlier summary dismissal.
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Summary Dismissal – Calculating the Effective Date of Termination

King v. Sash Windows judgment leaves employers vulnerable to backdated holiday claims

In King v. Sash Windows, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has held that anyone deemed to have "worker" status is entitled to carry over paid annual holiday in circumstances where they have not had the opportunity to take it.
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King v. Sash Windows judgment leaves employers vulnerable to backdated holiday claims

EAT finds you cannot cherry pick from without prejudice conversations

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), in the recent case of Graham v. Agilitas IT Solutions Ltd. (Agilitas), ruled that an employer cannot rely on parts of a without prejudice conversation held in accordance with s.111A of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) and/or the "common law" without prejudice rule, whilst at the same time seeking to use the without prejudice rule as a shield in reference to that same conversation. S.111A of the ERA permits discussions between an employer and an employee with a view to terminating employment on agreed terms to remain confidential and inadmissible in proceedings before a tribunal for unfair dismissal.
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EAT finds you cannot cherry pick from without prejudice conversations