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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

Expansion of the meaning of working time

For many employers, the concept of “working time” can be difficult to pin down. In particular, the question as to whether time spent “on call” can count as working time has been the subject of various European case law decisions over the last decade.

Working time is defined in the Working Time Directive (WTD) as any period during which a worker is carrying out his duties and is at his employer’s disposal.

Historically, when considering this issue the courts have tended to focus on the worker’s location during periods of time spent on call. However, in the recent Belgian case of Ville de Nivelles v. Matzak, the ECJ appears to be moving away from that line of thinking.

Click here to read more.

Expansion of the meaning of working time

Termination payments post 5 April 2018 a new landscape

New tax rules coming into force on 6 April 2018 will mean that income tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) must be paid on all payments in lieu of notice (PILONs) on termination of employment.

 

Click here to read more.

Termination payments post 5 April 2018 a new landscape

Mergers and acquisitions post completion immigration actions

Where an organisation has a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence to employ non-EEA workers they have a responsibility to report to the Home Office when certain events occur. Examples include where the organisation moves premises, changes its name, or there is a merger, takeover, de-merger or, more generally, any transaction where there is a change of ownership.

Even though we are approaching the 10-year anniversary of the introduction of Tier 2, there continues to be a lot of confusion and misunderstanding regarding the sponsor licence reporting process, especially in relation to transactions. With strict deadlines for reporting (20 days from the date the event occurs) it is critical to understand the events that need to be reported, and any additional actions you must complete.

Preparation in advance of a transaction is key – if you only start assessing the necessary actions once a transaction has completed it is usually too late and there is a risk that the deadline will be missed. This could jeopardise the immigration status of any sponsored employees and your ability to sponsor employees in the future.

The questions you need to ask to determine necessary actions are:

  1. What type of transaction is taking place – is it a merger, acquisition, demerger, share sale?
  2. What entities are involved and do they currently have a Tier 2 sponsor licence?
  3. Will there be a change in the direct ownership of the sponsor licence entity, or will the change in ownership be higher up the chain?
  4. Will TUPE apply?
  5. Who are the Tier 2 visa holders impacted by the transaction?
  6. Will there be secondary changes now or in the future that need to be reported, for example will there be a change to the name or location of the organisation?

Depending on the responses to these questions the necessary actions in relation to the organisation could be as simple as a short report to the Home Office, or as complex as needing to apply for a new Tier 2 sponsor licence. In respect of each employee with a Tier 2 visa, again it may be as simple as a short report to the Home Office or as complex as each employee needing to apply for a new visa (which they may not be eligible for).

In addition, a new right to work check needs to be completed for any employee who TUPE transfers into your organisation.

Given the complexities in identifying the necessary actions, the strict timeframes with which to comply, and the negative impact of making an error, it is critical to think about immigration early on in the corporate deal.

A final point to consider is that, if the transaction includes operations outside the UK, similar immigration compliance actions may be required in each location, adding to the overall complexity and risk position.

Mergers and acquisitions post completion immigration actions

A busy month for discrimination law

It’s been a busy few weeks for judgments; we round up the most recent discrimination cases:

When is cancer a disability?

What happens if an employer does not know an employee is pregnant when deciding to dismiss her but finds out before the dismissal takes effect?

Was forfeiture of LTIP awards unlawful age discrimination?

Click here to read the round up.

A busy month for discrimination law

UK Employment Law Round-up – March 2018

In this issue we look at some of the key employment law developments that have been taking place over the past month. In our case law review we take a look at ‘deemed disabilities’ under the Equality Act following a recent EAT judgment. We also look at what happens if an employer does not know an employee is pregnant when deciding to dismiss but finds out before the dismissal takes effect. The impact of the new taxation of termination payments coming into force from 6 April 2018 and the sponsor licence reporting process to be mindful of when involved in mergers and acquisitions are also covered.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/newsletters/2018/march/29/uk-employment-law-roundup/uk-employment-law-round-up-march-2018

UK Employment Law Round-up – March 2018

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

Pensions Regulator consults on master trust authorisation regime

Master Trusts are a popular way for employers to meet their auto-enrolment obligations. They are basically pension schemes providing money purchase benefits to non-associated employers. The process for signing up is usually simple with standardised documents for new joiners, although they can need a brief legal check and explanation given that they are trust deeds so you should know what you're agreeing to. Master Trusts follow a 'pensions as a service' model, like a group personal pension, but are regulated as an occupational pension scheme rather than a personal pension as they are trust based.
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Pensions Regulator consults on master trust authorisation regime

Improving the Pensions Regulator– Increase Powers or Increase Resource?

Recent high profile insolvencies (e.g. Carillion and BHS) have seen widespread criticism of the Pensions Regulator ("TPR"). It stands charged with failure to use its intervention powers despite being aware of companies prioritising dividends over deficit recovery contributions, despite trustees urging it to intervene. By the time TPR took action it was too late.
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Improving the Pensions Regulator– Increase Powers or Increase Resource?