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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

Shared Parental Leave for self-employed contractors

The Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Extension) Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 21 February 2018 by Tracy Brabin MP. If passed, the Bill would extend Shared Parental Leave (SPL) rights to self-employed contractors by allowing them to share maternity allowance (currently available to self-employed mothers instead of statutory maternity pay) in the same way employed parents share SPL pay. The Bill aims to create parity between the traditionally employed and the self-employed in their ability to share SPL with their spouse or partner.
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Shared Parental Leave for self-employed contractors

Ethnic Diversity Targets

Two of Britain's biggest banks (Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland) have publicly declared ethnic diversity targets for senior management roles and the workforce as a whole.
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Ethnic Diversity Targets

Dress Codes in the Workplace

Headlines on dress codes are becoming more frequent and certainly catch the eye with the BBC's "Can an employer demand that you go to work naked?" being no exception! The question raises a fair point – to what extent can employers dictate what its workforce wear to work?
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Dress Codes in the Workplace

National Minimum Wage Increase

Workers aged over 25 will receive an inflation-busting increase of 33p an hour in their national minimum wage. An above-inflation pay rise of 4.4 per cent starting April 2018 is over the 3 per cent rate of inflation which is in place at the moment. Following this, full-time workers will receive a £600 annual increase.
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National Minimum Wage Increase

Pay cap lift for police and prison officers

The 1% cap on public sector pay rises in England and Wales (which came into force in 2010) is to be lifted. The first professions to benefit will be police officers and prison officers. The government has announced that for the 2017/2018 FY police officers will receive a 1% pay rise plus a 1% bonus and prison officers will get a 1.7% rise, both of which will be funded from existing departmental budgets.
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Pay cap lift for police and prison officers

The Repeal Bill – Workers’ Rights

On 7 September 2017 the government published a factsheet on the impact of the Repeal Bill, which was recently passed by a majority of MPs, and the future status of workers' rights following the UK's withdrawal from the EU.
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The Repeal Bill – Workers’ Rights

People Management article, featuring Michael Bronstein

As you may have seen, People Management recently published an article on some of the big developments in employment law in 2017, particularly Brexit and the Taylor review. The discussion featured Michael Bronstein, a partner here at Dentons. Michael gave some insight on the potential effects of withdrawing from the EU on employment legislation, acknowledging that there is 'a common misconception that all employment rights are created by the EU'. In the lead up to triggering Article 50, the government maintained that there would not be any change to workers' rights following Brexit, so it would be brave to take away key protections, many of which derive from UK law anyway. Other commentators suggested there may be reforms to TUPE, although agreed that it will stay, but perhaps in a slightly amended form. As for a new visa regime for workers, the outcome is unclear. The uncertainty has already caused many workers to leave at a time where we are beginning to see a shortage of labour. This has not been helped by the recent leaked Home Office post-Brexit Immigration Policy which has confirmed the fears of employers with respect to the future of EU workers in the UK.
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People Management article, featuring Michael Bronstein