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Testing the limits of religious and philosophical belief discrimination

The Equality Act 2010 (the 2010 Act) prohibits direct discrimination, indirect discrimination and harassment in the workplace in respect of religion, religious belief and philosophical belief.
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Testing the limits of religious and philosophical belief discrimination

Government proposes major overhaul of Gender Recognition Act

The Government Equality Office (GEO) is proposing reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004. This Act enables transgender people to obtain legal recognition of their acquired gender by the issuing of a Gender Recognition Certificate and changing the sex on their birth certificate.
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Government proposes major overhaul of Gender Recognition Act

Can the menopause constitute a disability?

A recent Employment Tribunal's ruling suggests that the physical and psychological effects of the menopause could constitute a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 (the 2010 Act) Ms Davies, a court officer for the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service, had experienced the onset of the menopause resulting in her becoming severely anaemic, stressed and anxious, and experiencing memory loss.
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Can the menopause constitute a disability?

“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

Lawful dress codes… and work appropriate yoga leggings!

The Government Equalities Office's (GEO) guidance on dress codes has finally been released – but does it go far enough to guide employers down a non-discriminatory path?
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Lawful dress codes… and work appropriate yoga leggings!

EHRC gender pay gap investigations

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written to the Government informing it that in June it will be commencing the first of its gender pay gap investigations into employers who have failed to comply with their gender pay gap (GPG) reporting obligations. The announcement should not come as a surprise as the EHRC issued a warning prior to 4 April 2018 deadline that any companies which failed to comply with their reporting obligations could face enforcement action in the form of a fine or an investigation.
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EHRC gender pay gap investigations

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.
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No requirement to enhance pay for shared parental leave

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

People, Reward and Mobility – Annual update and diversity review – May 2018

The People, Reward and Mobility team are pleased to invite you to our annual update seminar. Designed to bring you up to date with the latest key developments affecting your workforce, we will review:

  • the top employment cases for 2017 and 2018 and legislative changes, together with their implications for your business;
  • key changes in pensions and other employee reward schemes and their effects on your business;
  • the latest implications from Brexit on immigration matters, including what you can be doing now to be prepared; and
  • diversity and inclusion, with a spotlight on what #MeToo means for your business and gender pay gap reporting, a year into the regime.

The seminar will be preceded by a breakfast buffet and an opportunity to network. We will hold a complimentary legal clinic after the event.

For further information (including dates), please visit our Events page:

Events

People, Reward and Mobility – Annual update and diversity review – May 2018