Emplaw monthly - June 2015
Articles in June from emplaw online
Employment Law News
Review of tribunal fees- see also the Article above
The government has announced that it will review the system of employment tribunal fees and the fee remission scheme (the Employment Tribunal Fees Post Implementation Review), which will include a review of the system’s effectiveness balanced with maintaining access to justice.
The review will take into account a wide range of evidence including:
- tribunal data on case volumes, case progression and case outcomes]
- qualitative research on the views of court and tribunal users
- the general trend of the number of cases appearing at tribunals before the fees were introduced
- any consequences arising as a result of an improved economy on the number of people being dismissed
- to what extent there has been discouragement of weak or unmeritorious claims
- whether there has been any impact because of changes in employment law; and other reasons for changes in user behaviour
Separately, the Ministry of justice has published tribunal statistics for the period January- March 2015.
The report presents the latest statistics on type and volume of tribunal cases received, disposed of or outstanding in this recent quarter, and the number of Gender Recognition Certificates applied for and granted. In addition, this report also presents annual statistics relating to tribunal adjournments and postponements and tribunal judicial salaried and fee-paid sitting days.
A few points of interest include:
- There was a decrease of 52% of single claims received in 2014/15 compared to 2013/14.
- Working time claims were down 90% compared to the first quarter of 2014.
- The mean age of a single claim at disposal in January to March 2015 was 33 weeks which is 1 week less than the same period in 2014.
- The mean age of a multiple claim case at disposal was 199 weeks, which is just under 4 years, up from 172 weeks in the same period in 2014.
- Overall, the mean age of a case at disposal in 2014/15 was 144 weeks, which is 9 weeks longer than 2013/14.
- Equal Pay cases had the longest mean clearance time of just over five years and a half years (292 weeks), while Sexual Orientation cases had the shortest average time of 38 weeks.
Gay Cake Appeal
A bakery in Northern Ireland that lost a case brought against it by a gay customer after it refused to bake a gay marriage themed cake is appealing against the ruling.
EU Referendum Bill
The government has published the EU Referendum Bill. Contained within the Bill is the question that will be put to the electorate, as well as making clear the franchise for the referendum.
Voters will be asked: ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?’
British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens over 18 who are resident in the UK will be eligible to vote as well as UK nationals resident overseas for less than 15 years. The referendum will be held by 31 December 2017.
The implications for employers and employees should the UK vote to leave the EU would be far-reaching, with the likely repeal of some legislation and the fact that UK employers would no longer be bound by ECJ decisions.
Childcare Bill 2015-16
The Childcare Bill which had its first reading in the House of Lords on 2 June 2015, aims to double free childcare available for all working parents of 3 and 4 year olds to 30 hours a week – available to up to 600,000 families and worth around £5,000 a year – including the £2,500 they can already save from existing free childcare offers.
The government has announced that plans are also being drawn up to introduce the changes for some families a year earlier than planned, with pilots in some areas offering 30 hours’ worth of free places from September 2016.
Acas guidance on holiday pay
In the light of recent court judgments Acas has produced updated guidance for dealing with holiday pay.
The guidance supplements the information already available in the existing Acas leaflet Holidays and Holiday Pay
Guidance on dealing with litigants in person
The Law Society, Bar Council and Chartered Institute of Legal Institutes have issued a joint guidance on how lawyers can support a litigant in person without being in conflict with their duties to their clients and the court.
Federación de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras v Tyco Integrated Security SL and another (C-266/14)
Travelling time at start and end of day can be working time
Race discrimination - different comparators for different parts of claim
Limit on length of Jilbab at work not discriminatory
Client’s identity in a TUPE service provision change case is a question of fact.
In Jinks v London Borough of Havering the EAT overturned a tribunal decision to strike out a claim by an employee that TUPE applied to transfer his employment when the operation of a car park was sub-contracted to another company, Regal Car Parks. The ET had ruled that, on the pleaded case, the council had never been the client of the sub-contractor.
Was an employee removed from the organised grouping prior to TUPE transfer?
No duty on employee to disclose allegations of misconduct
The issue in Basildon Academies v Amadi concerned express or implied duties to disclose alleged sexual misconduct and the acceptance of other work. Mr Amadi worked for Basildon Academies as a tutor for two days a week, Thursday and Friday. He accepted a zero hours contract to work at Richmond College from Monday-Wednesday. He did not tell Basildon.
Taxation of compensation for threatened race discrimination claim
The First-Tier Tribunal has held in A v Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs that a payment of £600,000 to a trader when he left his employer, a Bank, was compensation in respect of his threatened race discrimination claim.
As such, it could not be considered to be earnings under section 62 Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 and should be treated as damages.