The Only Thing That's Certain is Change: Employment Update
In these times of uncertainty, we can always be sure of further changes in employment law and below are a few updates on upcoming employment law and recent legal decisions.
In 2017, gender pay gap reporting obligations come into force, requiring employers with 250 or more employees to publish information on gender pay gaps, including male:female worker ratios and bonus & salary information. Companies will need to provide information on:
- The difference between the mean and median hourly rate of pay of male and female employees.
- The difference between the mean and median bonus pay paid to male and female employees.
- The proportions of male and female employees who were paid bonus pay.
- The proportions of male and female employees in the quartile pay bands.
Although this directly affects the larger employers, those with fewer than 250 staff may still be required to provide information in other circumstances such as tendering for work or where a customer needs to report on their suppliers’ policy in this area.
The news has been full of reports on the so-called “gig economy” with the case of UBER being prominent. Uber insisted its drivers were self-employed. The Employment Tribunal concluded otherwise, holding that they were in fact workers and therefore entitled to National Minimum Wage and paid holiday. Uber has now launched an appeal whilst other groups are looking to assert rights such as those working for Deliveroo, Amazon and Hermes. Cases brought by two cycle couriers against Citysprint and Excel Group have also been successful in establishing worker status.
In addition, the case against Pimlico Plumbers highlights the fact that those who provide services on a self-employed basis canalsobe considered workers. In this case, due to the obligation to provide services personally, the Court of Appeal held the individual had rights to holiday pay and protection against discrimination.
All cases are fact specific but give guidance on what factors will dictate employment, worker or self-employed status. These cases reemphasise the need to classify workers correctly and ensure the written contract reflects the reality on the ground.
We’re no doubt a little tired of the “B” word, but the effect of Brexit is not currently clear. However, with the UK leaving the EU, this will have an effect on legislation concerning business and employment - to what extent remains to be seen but with the level of European law integrated deep into UK legislation, changes could have a wide impact.
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