Changes in force since 1 April:

  • Termination payments: all payments made in lieu of notice are now subject to income tax and NIC
  • Employment Tribunal compensation limits have increased
  • National Minimum Wage rates and the apprentice rate have increased.

Click here for details of the new rates.

Changes to information on payslips

From 6 April 2019, all payslips must include the number of hours an employee has worked if their pay varies in relation to time worked. This change is to introduce greater clarity for those people whose pay fluctuates because they work variable hours.

Publishing gender pay gap information – update

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has confirmed that they will seek a court order requiring any employer who has failed to publish their gender pay gap report to remedy the breach. Failure to remedy could result in an unlimited fine. Employers with more than 250 employees were required to publish their gender pay gap information by 30 March (public sector) or 4 April (private sector). Please let us know if we can help; you can also find guidance on the ACAS website.  

Sexual harassment in the workplace

The Equalities & Human Rights commission has produced a set of recommendations, ‘Turning the Tables’, to help employers deal with sexual harassment in the workplace. The recommendations are a result of the feedback received from large employers about the safeguards they have in place to prevent sexual harassment; and from individuals about their personal experiences. Please contact us if you need advice on any claims arising from sexual harassment allegations, or for advice on policy drafting.

YEAR: your employment annual retainer

Reduce the time you spend dealing with HR matters, and make sure that you comply with an increasingly complex area of law, by joining our YEAR club. For more information please contact Tina Chander or click here.

Case update

Agency workers must be treated favourably

In Kocure v Angard Staffing, the EAT awarded £8000 against Royal Mail for failing to treat an agency worker as favourably as the company’s full-time employees. Mr Kocure originally brought a claim on several grounds: first, he was only given 28 days’ holiday and 30 minute rest breaks against the 30.5 days’ holiday and hour-long rest breaks of employees; and second, he was not issued with a swipe card to enable him to access the Leeds Mail Centre where he worked. The original tribunal dismissed his claim relating to holiday and rest breaks, holding that any disparity was compensated for by an enhanced hourly rate which did not constitute a breach of regulations (which was subsequently overturned at appeal), but upheld his claim relating to the swipe card and membership of a fitness centre. Following the tribunal’s decision, Royal Mail did not comply with its ruling that Mr Kocure was entitled to a swipe card and, as a result, he was awarded damages £8000 for unfavourable treatment in breach of regulation 12 of the AWR.  Under the AWR, agency workers, after 12 weeks, are entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions as directly recruited employees.

Can you dismiss a pregnant employee if you don’t know she’s pregnant

In Thompson v Really Easy Care Credit (RECCL), Ms Thompson brought a claim for pregnancy discrimination after she was dismissed by her employer for performance issues – although her employer, at the time, was not aware that she was pregnant. The ET upheld her claim, finding that, although RECCL’s decision to dismiss was made before she informed them of her pregnancy, her performance-related issues were connected with her pregnancy and therefore her dismissal was an act of pregnancy discrimination. RECCL appealed the decision. The EAT found in their favour on the basis that the dismissal could not have had anything to do with the pregnancy as the company knew nothing about it and it was not obliged to ‘revisit its decision after it learned of her pregnancy’. The EAT has remitted the case to another tribunal in order to clarify if RECCL’s reviewed its decision after finding out about the pregnancy.  This is a timely reminder that employers should record their decision making process, and not revisit a decision once it has been made if a pregnancy is subsequently announced. 

About the authors

Tina Chander Partner

Tina is head of our employment law team. She deals with contentious and non-contentious employment law issues.

Suki Harrar Partner

Suki advises on all employment issues, including unfair dismissal, redundancy, TUPE, appointments of senior executives and contract documentation.