Emplaw Monthly - March 2016

New this month at Emplaw.co.uk

Apprentices Now

https://www.emplaw.co.uk/article/apprentices-now

Marking Apprenticeship Week, this article explains the new Approved English Apprenticeship regime and the contractual requirements for engaging an apprentice. It also looks at funding arrangements and links to information on apprenticeship arrangements in the rest of the United Kingdom

Childcare Vouchers and Maternity Leave

https://www.emplaw.co.uk/article/childcare-vouchers-and-maternity-leave

Emplaw Online contributors, Penningtons Manches, explore the consequences of the recent decision in Peninsula Business Services Ltd v Donaldson UKEAT/0249/15, on how childcare vouchers may be provided. Subscribers can also see the Emplaw Online case summary.

Focus On Emplaw Online Content

Many of our law cards on Categories of Workers have recently been reviewed and will now be kept up to date by Tim Wilkinson, Barrister from leading North East Chambers Parklane Plowden. Particularly topical for this month is our incisive guide on Apprentices.

Search tips.

With over 7000 cases and hundreds of law guides at Emplaw Online, we understand that you need to find what you need quickly

  • If you are looking for a specific phrase, putting it in speech marks e.g. “Minimum Wage Regulations” will pinpoint the search
  • Also don’t forget our simple navigation video at https://www.emplaw.co.uk/tutorial-videos

Employment Law News

The Budget

On Wednesday 16 March the Chancellor presented his Budget to Parliament. Some of the items of interest to employment lawyers are:

  • The personal allowance will increase to £11,500 and the higher rate threshold will rise to £45,000 in April 2017
  • From April 2018 employers will need to pay National Insurance Contributions on pay-offs (e.g. termination payments) above £30,000 where income tax is also due
  • Where employees lose their job, payments up to £30,000 will remain tax-free and they will not need to pay NICs on any of the payment
  • The main rate of corporation tax will be cut again to 17% in 2020
  • Class 2 NICs for self-employed people will be abolished from April 2018. From then, they will only need to pay one type of National Insurance on their profits, Class 4 NICs.
  • The threshold for small business rate relief to increase from £6000 to £15000 from April 2017
  • The government is committed to delivering 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020. An apprenticeship levy will be introduced in April 2017. From that date employers will receive a 10% top-up to their monthly levy contributions in England
  • The government will launch a consultation in May 2016 on how to implement its commitment to extend Shared Parental Leave and Pay to working grandparents. The consultation will cover options for streamlining the system, including simplifying the eligibility requirements and notification system and how to make better use of digital technology
  • The review into the representation of women in senior managerial roles in the financial services industry will launch its report on 22 March with recommendations on how to improve gender diversity
  • The National Living Wage of £7.20 per hour comes into force on 1 April 2016. The government has asked the Low Pay Commission to set out how the new NLW will reach 60% of median earnings by 2020
  • The government is concerned about the growth of salary sacrifice schemes and is considering limiting the range of benefits that attract tax and NICs advantages when they are provided as part of salary sacrifice schemes
  • The Budget introduces an individual lifetime limit of £100,000 on gains eligible for Capital Gains Tax exemption through Employee Shareholder Status

Statutory Limits

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2016 increases the compensatory award for unfair dismissal to £78,962 and a week’s pay to £479 from 6 April 2016.

The minimum basic award for certain unfair dismissals (e.g. for trade union membership) increases to £5,853.

From 6 April 2016 the following NIC limits apply:

Upper earnings limit- £827 pw

Upper secondary threshold for under 21s - £827 pw

From 1 October 2016 the following NMW rates will apply:

Workers aged 21 to 24 - £6.95

Development rate (workers aged 18-20) - £5.55

Young workers rate - £4.00

Apprenticeship rate - £3.40

Trade Union Bill 2015-2016

Amendments have been made to the Trade Union Bill which is proceeding to the House of Lords but the Bill still remains contentious.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2015-2016/0099/amend/am099-c.htm

Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure)(Amendment) Regulations 2016

The ET (Amendment) Regulations 2016 amend the 2013 Regulations in relation to claims issued on or after 6 April 2016 to introduce rules in relation to the postponement of employment tribunal hearings and the use of costs orders where hearings are postponed following applications made at late notice.

An application for a postponement should be made as soon as possible after the need for a postponement becomes known. Any postponement application which has been made later or following two previous applications shall only be granted in specified circumstances.

A tribunal must consider whether to make a costs order where it has granted a postponement following a late application by one of the parties.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/271/contents/made

Financial penalties for unpaid tribunal awards

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (Commencement No 4) Regulations 2016 bring into force certain provisions of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 from 6 April 2016. Among other provisions, the regulations introduce a scheme for penalising employers who fail to pay tribunal financial awards or settlement sums agreed under the terms of a settlement.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/321/contents/made

Guidance on surveillance

The surveillance camera commissioner has published guidance to assist organisations to comply with the Surveillance camera code of practice. The guidance comprises a self-assessment tool and a 2-step certification process which is delivered by bodies accredited by the UK Accreditation Service. The certification process is open to any organisation that operates surveillance cameras in a public space.

The guidance is primarily aimed at local authorities and councils but the commissioner encourages other organisations to comply.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/complying-with-surveillance-camera-code-of-practice-self-assessment-and-third-party-certification/complying-with-surveillance-camera-code-of-practice-self-assessment-and-third-party-certification

Enterprise Bill factsheet

BIS has published an Enterprise Bill factsheet outlining the measures that will be included in the Enterprise Bill. These measures will establish a new body, the Institute for Apprenticeships, to support employer-led reforms and regulate the quality of apprenticeships.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/institute-for-apprenticeships-enterprise-bill-factsheet

European Commission presents EU-US Privacy Shield

The European Commission has issued the legal texts that will put in place the EU-US Privacy Shield and a communication summarising the actions taken over the last year to restore trust in transatlantic data flows since the 2013 surveillance revelations. The EU has (i) finalised the reform of EU Data protection rules, which apply to all companies providing services on the EU market, (ii) negotiated the EU-US Umbrella Agreement ensuring high data protection standards for data transfers across the Atlantic for law enforcement purposes and (iii) achieved a renewed sound framework for commercial data exchange: the EU-US Privacy Shield.

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-433_en.htm

Current practice in employment and autism

The Business Disability Forum has announced the launch of a research report into current practice in employment and autism. The report examines current practice in the employment of people with autism and makes key recommendations for employers when adopting inclusive practice.

http://www.businessdisabilityforum.org.uk/about-us/news/autism-in-the-workplace-business-disability-forum-launch-new-report-on-current-practice/

Regulation of recruitment agencies

BIS has published its response to consultation over reforming the regulatory framework for the recruitment sector and the proposal to prohibit EEA-only recruitment. The government will amend regulation 27A to ban employment agencies from recruiting solely from other EEA countries without advertising in Great Britain.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/recruitment-sector-changes-to-the-regulatory-framework-including-stopping-eea-only-recruitment

EHRC Guidance for advertisers and publishers

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published a good practice checklist aimed at people involved in the creation, placement and publication of an advert. It includes a series of questions for advertisers and publishers to ensure that adverts for job opportunities, goods, services, facilities and accommodation do not discriminate.

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/publication/advertising-good-practice-checklist-advertisers-and-publishers

CASES: 

Mohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc [2016] UKSC 11

Vicarious liability: connection between the relationship and the act

To establish vicarious liability in tort, there needs to be a relationship between the defendant and the wrongdoer and a connection between that relationship and the wrongdoer’s act or default, in order to make it just that the defendant should be held legally responsible to the victim for the consequences of the wrongdoer’s conduct. Mohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc is concerned with the second limb of the test

The full content of this page is available to subscribers only. Please purchase a subscription if you feel this content will be of use to you.

Cox v Ministry of Justice [2016] UKSC 10

Ministry of Justice is vicariously liable for prisoner’s negligence

To establish vicarious liability in tort, there needs to be a relationship between the defendant and the wrongdoer and a connection between that relationship and the wrongdoer’s act or default, in order to make it just that the defendant should be held legally responsible to the victim for the consequences of the wrongdoer’s conduct. , Cox v MOJ, is concerned with the first requirement.

The full content of this page is available to subscribers only. Please purchase a subscription if you feel this content will be of use to you.

Peninsula Business Services Ltd v Donaldson UKEAT/0249/15

EAT holds suspension of childcare vouchers during maternity leave was not discriminatory

The full content of this page is available to subscribers only. Please purchase a subscription if you feel this content will be of use to you.

Hills v Niksun Inc [2016] EWCA Civ 115

Employee’s commission award should have been higher

In Hills v Niksun Inc, Mr Hills was employed as Niksun’s regional sales manager in the UK. A High Court had found that he had been underpaid commission of around £6,700 in respect of the Asian and Pacific element of a sale of security software to the international businesses of Credit Suisse. Niksun had allocated 48% of the available commission on that deal to the UK office and the High Court thought it should have been two thirds.

The full content of this page is available to subscribers only. Please purchase a subscription if you feel this content will be of use to you.

Case Summary Tag: 

Arch Initiatives v Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust UKEAT/0267/15

A service provision change under TUPE does not require all activities to cease being carried out by transferor

The full content of this page is available to subscribers only. Please purchase a subscription if you feel this content will be of use to you.

Case Summary Tag: 

Smith v Gartner UK Ltd UKEAT/0279/15

No direct age discrimination when benefits ceased under long-term disability scheme on employee reaching retirement age of 60

The full content of this page is available to subscribers only. Please purchase a subscription if you feel this content will be of use to you.