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Equality – in the headlines

The UK PRM (People, Reward and Mobility) team at Dentons strives to keep you up to date with what's happening in the news that has an impact on you. It was notable that Wednesday's search had a common theme running through the articles. They all related to equality addressing either equal pay or gender diversity.
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Equality – in the headlines

Data Breach – Employers Vicariously Liable

The Court of Appeal has ruled that Morrisons is liable for a data breach which saw thousands of its employees' details posted online by a disgruntled ex-employee, Mr Skelton. The judgment has come as a shock to businesses after the Court of Appeal found the supermarket liable for the actions of its employee in this case.
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Data Breach – Employers Vicariously Liable

Employee status and agency workers: The nature of the work is the key consideration

An employee on a temporary zero hours contract should be classed as an agency worker, the Employment Appeal Tribunal found in Brooknight Guarding Limited v. Matei.

Background

Brooknight Guarding Limited employed Mr Matei as a security guard on a zero hours contract for 21 months. He worked mostly for Mitie Security Ltd, although not exclusively, and Brooknight could assign him to different clients. Mr Matei claimed he should be classed as an agency worker under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (Regulation 3(1)). As a result, he said he should be entitled to the same basic working conditions as Mitie staff after 12 weeks of service. The ET found Brooknight was using Mr Matei as a ‘cover security guard’, rather than an employee on a permanent basis, and so the ET classed him as an agency worker. Brooknight appealed the decision to the EAT on the basis that the employee could work on a zero hours contract and still be a permanent employee of Mitie.

Decision

The EAT agreed with the Tribunal’s decision and dismissed Brooknight’s appeal. The Tribunal had considered the nature of Mr Matei’s contract and short period of employment, but these factors were not the determining factors; the focus was on the nature of the work and whether it was temporary. Brooknight’s own correspondence with Mr Matei itself suggested the relationship was temporary. The Tribunal was therefore right to conclude that Mr Matei was an agency worker and entitled to the same terms and conditions as those working directly for Mitie.

Conclusion

The decision informs us that the key issue a tribunal will consider when determining agency worker status is the nature of the work carried out and whether the work is permanent or temporary. The EAT considered the nature of Mr Matei’s contract and relatively short period of employment, but they were not determinative. Employment businesses will need to be mindful that an agency worker on a zero hours contract can still gain rights under the 2010 Regulations after 12 weeks’ service, if the nature of the work is temporary. End users will also have to take note, since they can be held liable for any breach of week 12 rights under the Agency Workers Regulations.

Employee status and agency workers: The nature of the work is the key consideration

Kilraine v London Borough of Wandsworth [2018]

A recent case has considered the issue of what amounts to a protected disclosure. In Kilraine v. London Borough of Wandsworth [2018], the Court of Appeal guided Employment Tribunals in such cases to focus on determining whether there was a "protected disclosure" and whether the disclosed information, showed or tended to show that one or more of the six specified types of malpractice had taken place or was likely to take place – for example a breach of a legal obligation.
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Kilraine v London Borough of Wandsworth [2018]

Home Office publishes details of settlement scheme for EU Citizens:

EU citizens will be able to apply for settled status in 3 easy steps for less than the price of a passport, under plans outlined by the Immigration Minister today. Please see here for further details.

Home Office publishes details of settlement scheme for EU Citizens:

Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship – Quota hit

Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS), which employers use to employ non-EU/EEA nationals in the UK, are scarce.
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Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship – Quota hit

All workers to benefit from the right to an itemized payslip

An Order for an amendment to the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) has now been made. The Order will grant every worker the right to an itemised pay statement from 6 April 2019.
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All workers to benefit from the right to an itemized payslip

Taylor Review – update

The House of Commons Work and Pensions and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committees (the Committees) made recommendations in November 2017 for addressing the issues raised in the Taylor Review. These included:
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Taylor Review – update

The “Windrush” generation – the similarities for EU nationals

The UK government's immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, has set out the government's commitment to support the "Windrush" generation. The "Windrush" generation is a reference to the ship, the Empire Windrush, that brought workers from the West Indies to Britain in 1948.
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The “Windrush” generation – the similarities for EU nationals

Disability – what do you know?

The Court of Appeal has handed down its decision in Donelien v. Liberata UK Ltd (see here) and provided reassurance to employers that they can rely on occupation health advisers in deciding the question of disability. However, this is subject to employers making their own enquiries also.
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Disability – what do you know?