Every fortnight, Knights Employment team publish their Top Fortnightly Facts (TFFs), providing a summary of the key updates in the employment and HR world. Looking first at “What?” the issue is, we then consider the “So what?” point for you that flows from that.
We focus on HR/ Employment issues but also look at any Immigration, Data, Tax and Pensions points of interest.
- IN THE NEWS - DISCUSSION POINTS:
In the news this fortnight, we look at three issues: (a) the Queen’s Speech; (b) the widening of the ban on exclusivity clauses; and (c) pay reduction for law firm employees who choose to work remotely at home full-time.
2. RECENT CASE LAW:
In this edition we focus on (a) the recent case of Mr Finn v (1) The British Bung Company and (2) Mr King which you may have read about in all of the newspapers at the weekend about a male employee who, amongst other claims, brought a tribunal claim for sex-related harassment. Feel free to skip this section if you are not a fan of offensive language but for those of you who want to know more, he was called a “bald c***” by a colleague; and (b) the appeal in the covid-related case of Rodgers v Leeds Laser Cutting Ltd., the first tier Tribunal case of which we reported on in previous TFFs.
3. QUICKFIRE POINTS:
Below are some quickfire points to note on some other stories in the news and recent cases.
- The Recruitment and Employment Confederation and The Fawcett Society have launched a new End Salary History campaign to tackle pay disparity on the grounds of gender, race and disability. Polling by The Fawcett Society found that a majority of both men and women felt that being asked about their earning history causes them to be offered a lower wage and affected their confidence when asking for better pay. The Government recently announced a pilot scheme which would see participants include salary information in job advertisements and refrain from asking job applicants for details of their salary history. However, further details of the scheme are awaited. The campaign includes an employer petition to push the call on the Government to ban practice of recruiters asking job applicants about their salary history and a practical guide for use by recruiters. The guide advocates that the practice of basing salary offers on previous income bakes in gender, race and disability inequality and perpetuates existing pay gaps.
- The Government previously announced plans to introduce legislation to prevent employers from deducting money given as tips for workers. However, despite pledges by minsters as recent as September last year, on 5 May 2022 it was reported that the plans to ensure workers are able to keep tips have been dropped for "the foreseeable future".
- The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have reported on sickness absence rates for 2021. The statistics show that 2021 saw the highest sickness absence rate in the UK since 2010. Nearly 150 million days were lost to sickness or injury, being an average of 4.6 days per person. The biggest cause for sickness absence was COVID-19 which accounted for 24% of all occurrences of sickness absence.
- HMCTS is taking steps to modernise the Tribunal system, including digital case files, interactive web-based case progression and automation of various aspects of the Tribunal system. The HMCTS Reform Employment Tribunal Project have produced a useful FAQ document to help Tribunal users navigate the reform. The document sets out the background to the reform, the progress and the design of the new online journey, and will be updated as the project continues.
- The Government has published new guidance for businesses offering work to individuals coming to the UK from Ukraine. The guidance applies to businesses in England, Scotland and Wales and provides information on immigration status, practical steps and on the additional support available to businesses. It also notes that "the UK is proud to extend the same employment rights that everyone in the UK is entitled to, to people arriving in the UK from Ukraine”, and encourages businesses to understand these employment rights.
- Menopause specialists, Health & Her, have published new research which has found that 10% of women leave the workforce due to menopause and one in four consider leaving. The Fawcett Society has also published the results of what is believed to be the largest survey of menopausal women in the UK. It found that one in 10 women have left a job due to their symptoms and 44% of women said that their ability to do their job had been affected by their symptoms.
Should you require specialised legal advice on any point in this document or any other employment law assistance, please contact a member of the Knights Employment team at Employment@knightsplc.com and we will be happy to assist you.
This document is provided for information purposes only. This list of consideration is not exhaustive and does not constitute legal advice.