9th January 2017

INFORMATION UPDATE

 Issue No.  2017/01

 Sentient
              

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

We hope you have all survived the Christmas and New Year festivities.  We have started 2017 with a bang – busy on advice calls from many ongoing clients (keep them coming).  Whilst resisting the temptation to churn out New Year’s Resolutions such as “move more, eat less”, our minds turn to what’s on during 2017 so read on....

Gender Pay Gap Information
Larger employers should be preparing for the introduction of the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations, expected to come into force on 6th April, which require private and third sector employers with 250 or more employees to report annually on:

  • their mean and median gender and bonus pay gap;
  • the proportion of men and women who receive bonuses; 
  • the proportion of men and women in each pay band quartile.

The first reports, based on April 2017 pay data, are due to be published in 2018.

National Living Wage / National Minimum Wage
Changes to the National Minimum Wage have always been made in October.  However, following the introduction of the National Living Wage in April 2016, this has now changed and the NMW/NLW will be reviewed and any changes taking effect in April each year (see table).  

 

Current
rate

With effect 01.04.17

Workers aged 25 & over

£7.20

£7.50

Workers aged between 21 & 24

£6.95

£7.05

Workers aged between 18 & 20

£5.55

£5.60

Training Rate

£5.55

£5.60

Workers aged between 16 & 17

£4.00

£4.05

Apprentices

£3.40

£3.50

Daily Accommodation Offset

£6.00

£6.40

 
Statutory Rates 

WEEKLY RATES

Current Rate

New Rate

Effective From

Statutory Maternity / Paternity / Shared Parental Pay 

£139.56

£140.98

02/04/17

Statutory Adoption Pay

£139.56

£140.98

02/04/17

Maternity Allowance

£139.56

£140.98

02/04/17

Statutory Sick Pay

£88.45

£89.35

06/04/17

Earnings threshold for SSP, SMP, SPP and SAP

£112.00

£113.00

06/04/14


Auto-enrolment staging dates - hurry up
Smaller firms and new firms will start auto-enrolment in 2017. The process takes time so if a business is yet to begin the process, now is the time to start planning. 

Some Case Law Judgments Expected in 2017
A number of important HR/Employment law cases are to be heard in 2016, below are just a few that are worthy of note: 

Achbita v G4S Security Solutions NV and Bougnaoui v Micropole Univers
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is to consider whether a corporate dress code that prohibits visible religious, political and philosophical symbols at work, including the Islamic headscarf, is direct or indirect discrimination. 

In the Achbita case the Advocate General gave an opinion that a ban was indirect discrimination and probably justified, but in Bougnaoui, a different Advocate General gave an opinion that it was direct discrimination (for which a justification defense is generally not available).  

Chesterton Global v Nurmohamed
The Court of Appeal will consider whether the legal requirements of the ‘whistleblowing’ legislation that a disclosure must be made ‘in the public interest’ is satisfied when a complaint affects a relatively small group of employees.   In this case, the issue related to the calculation of commission, which affected around 100 other senior managers. The EAT decided that his disclosures were made ‘in the public interest’ because the employee had the other managers in mind when raising his concerns, even though he was mainly concerned about his own position. 

Pimlico Plumbers v Smith
The Court of Appeal will consider the employment status of an operative who was classed as self-employed.  Whilst the operative was presented to clients as part of the workforce, wore uniforms, drove branded vans and issued contracts and estimates in the name of the company, the contractual arrangements described him as self-employed, in business on his own account and liable to account for his own tax and NI. He provided his own equipment, accepted personal liability for work undertaken by him, provided his own insurance but there was no unfettered right for him to transfer work to other operatives. The EAT concluded that, although the operative was not an employee, he was not self-employed either, but fell into the intermediary category of ‘worker’. That decision is now being appealed. 

British Gas Trading v Lock and another
Both the Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal considered the application to UK law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), ruling that commission must be included in holiday pay calculations.  The case has been remitted back to the Employment Tribunal but there is speculation that this case may be the subject of further appeal to the Supreme Court. 

Corporate Governance
The government has published a green paper on corporate governance reform.  The Consultation document is asking for views on: executive pay; employee and customer voice; corporate governance in large private businesses; and other suggestions to help address the corporate governance challenges.  The Consultation ends on 17th February 2017, details can be found:  https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/corporate-governance-reform

Lifts Regulations 2016 – Not on the horizon, but came into force 8th December 2016
Transposes Directive 2014/33/EU which harmonises product standards across EU.  It imposes new obligations on manufacturers, importers and distributors of lifts. 

Judicial Review of FFI
A Judicial Review of the Health & Safety Executive’s process for adjudicating on disputed Fee for Intervention Bills has been scheduled for 10th and 11th May 2017. 

Keeping you updated
No doubt there will be more to report as the year unfolds, particularly as the position becomes clearer regarding Brexit and as always, we will keep you up to date with developments throughout the year via our Information Updates. 


 

 

 

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The advice and comment in this update is not meant to be an authoritative statement of law. The articles and summaries should not be applied to any specific set of facts and circumstances without seeking further advice. Whilst every care is taken to ensure that the content is correct Sentient cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of statements made nor the result of any actions taken by individuals after reading such.

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