Several new employment measures have become law, dealing with redundancy protection for mothers and those returning from family leave, as well as creating new rights to carer’s and neonatal leave. There is also a new right to the allocation of tips. However, the rights might not come into force for a year or two, and some of the detail of the rights remains to be confirmed.
Ethnicity pay gap reporting in the UK remains voluntary. For organizations that choose to report this data, the government has now published guidance on how to do so, recommending that they mirror the rules on gender pay gap reporting where possible. The big difference is that ethnicity pay gap reporting involves multiple categories.
The Court of Appeal has confirmed that an Acas-negotiated COT3 settlement agreement covered an individual’s claim that his former employer had knowingly helped a subsidiary unlawfully victimize him when the subsidiary rejected his job application. This situation was covered by the COT3’s express terms settling claims that indirectly arose in connection with his employment.
A recent EAT decision has held that an employee cannot settle statutory employment claims arising from events that have not yet happened. In doing so, it departed from existing case law that indicated it was possible to settle such claims in some circumstances.
2022 has seen further case law on the issue of the potential conflict between expressions of gender-critical beliefs in the workplace and proponents of gender identity. There are currently four main cases in this sphere: Forstater v. CGD Europe; Mackereth v. DWP; Higgs v. Farmor’s School; and Bailey v. Garden Court Chambers and Stonewall. There have been decisions in all four cases during 2022.
The UK’s political upheaval and fiscal policy changes are much-publicized. But where do we stand on recently proposed changes to employment law as Rishi Sunak starts his premiership? One of the Truss government’s tax proposals – repealing IR35 changes – might have had a significant effect on contractor workforce planning. However, this was abandoned and the current IR35 rules will remain. Conversely, for the time being, the government is pursuing its plans to limit the disruption caused by strike action in the transport sector. Similarly, the removal of the cap on bankers’ bonuses is still on the agenda. Also on the horizon is the potentially ground-changing proposal to scrap all retained EU law, which in theory could include TUPE.
The government has announced its Growth Plan 2022. The key employment-related aspects are: the repeal of IR35 reforms introduced in 2017 and 2021; the removal of the bankers’ bonus cap; requirements for trade unions to put pay offers to a member vote and to maintain minimum service levels during strike action; reductions to income tax rates; an increase to the company share option plan limits. The government also reconfirmed plans to reverse a rise in National Insurance contributions and to scrap a planned health and social care levy.
The Supreme Court has confirmed that the 12.07% formula commonly used to calculate holiday pay for workers with irregular hours is incorrect. Using it will in some cases result in an underpayment. Employers who rely on this formula should ascertain whether it creates any material liabilities for their organisations (Harpur Trust v Brazel).