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Government to propose mandatory ethnic pay gap reporting

As UK companies with more than 250 employees are now required to publish gender pay gap information, the government has turned its attention to the ethnicity pay gap.

On 11 October 2018, the government launched a consultation seeking views on ethnicity pay reporting by employers to inform future government policy. The consultation, which closes on 11 January 2019, asks what ethnicity pay information should be reported by employers to facilitate meaningful action, without unduly burdening businesses.

The consultation focuses on what ethnic pay reporting should look like and how it should be introduced. It outlines different approaches to reporting, ranging from the average hourly earnings of different ethnic groups to reporting ethnicity pay information by pay band or quartile. The government is also seeking views on whether any contextual factors, such as gender or age, should form part of the reported information.

Alongside its consultation, the government has also announced a new “Race at Work Charter”. Employers who adopt the charter (which is voluntary) will commit themselves to a set of principles that aim to improve recruitment and progression for employees from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Although ethnic pay gap reporting is currently not mandatory, employers who want to be seen as serious about diversity and equality may want to consider reporting. Hopefully many will have a positive tale to tell, helping them attract top talent from all ethnic backgrounds; those who find that they do have a material ethnic pay gap will be able to take action to tackle it and report their progress in doing so.

 

Government to propose mandatory ethnic pay gap reporting

New legislation seeks to ensure restaurant owners give their employees all tips from customers

New legislation is expected to be implemented to ban restaurants from keeping tips from their employees. The intention is restaurant owners will not be able to make deductions from tips which are paid by card in order to fund administration costs.

It is reported that High Street chains regularly take up to 10% of tips paid by credit or debit cards from employees. The issue was initially addressed two years ago in an official review led by the then business secretary, Sajid Javid, although nothing concrete had materialised.

The government is now re-addressing the issue, announcing that UK legislation will not only ensure workers get the tips they deserve, but will also give customers reassurance that the tips they leave are for the service they receive.

The announcement of new legislation is a timely reminder to employers of the protections that employees are entitled to during the course of their employment. Employers should adopt a proactive approach and re-evaluate their tipping procedure in order to avoid non-compliance and reputational risks.

 

 

 

New legislation seeks to ensure restaurant owners give their employees all tips from customers

Is the Apprenticeship Levy failing?

The Apprenticeship Levy, which came into force in April 2017, requires employers with pay bills over £3 million to pay 0.5% of their total gross pay bill to the government (through PAYE) which is then used to fund approved apprenticeship programmes. Each employer has an annual Apprenticeship Levy allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy liability.
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Is the Apprenticeship Levy failing?

Woman and Equalities Committee report calls for a more proactive approach to dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace

The Women and Equalities Committee has published the results of its six-month long inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace. Supporting the Equality and Human Rights Commission's recommendation that employers should have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect workers from harassment and victimisation, the report found that employers and regulators have not been doing enough to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace.
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Woman and Equalities Committee report calls for a more proactive approach to dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace

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

The equality of parenting

In the week after Father's Day in the UK, insurance provider Aviva commissioned a report into Shared Parental Leave (SPL) polling 1,000 fathers and 1,000 mothers with children aged 16 and under nationwide. Despite the legislation on SPL being in force since 2015 and the recent government campaign "Share the Joy", intended to raise awareness (which we talked about here), half of working fathers haven't heard of SPL. This is particularly disappointing as nine out of 10 parents are reported as believing mums and dads should be given equal parental leave.
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The equality of parenting

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

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

New report on sexual harassment by the Equalities & Human Rights Commission

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have published new recommendations, 'turning the tables: ending sexual harassment at work', having found that existing obligations and guidance for employers are not protecting workers from sexual harassment. This article provides a brief overview of the ECHR objectives and highlights some of the more notable recommendations.
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New report on sexual harassment by the Equalities & Human Rights Commission