«

»

Print this Post

2014 Review of the year

Sandra Wallace, Partner and UK Employment Group Head, highlights the most important legislative and case law developments from 2014 and identifies the key cases to watch out for in 2015.

 

2014 LEGISLATION ROUND UP
Employment tribunals
6 April 2014 Cap on a week’s pay increased from £450 to £464.
Unfair dismissal compensatory award increased from £74,200 to £76,574 (or 52 weeks’ pay whichever is the lower).
Early conciliation rules came into force requiring all claimant employees to obtain an early conciliation certificate from ACAS before being able to lodge a claim in the employment tribunal.
The power came into force allowing an employment tribunal to order an employer to pay a financial penalty where it has found that the employer has breached a worker’s rights and there are aggravating factors.
TUPE
31 January 2014 Regulations came into force amending TUPE in a number of key respects including extending the timeframe for notification of employee liability information, allowing renegotiation of terms derived from collective agreements one year after the transfer, allowing pre-transfer consultation to count for collective redundancy purposes and allowing changes in the location of the workforce to fall within the ETO defence.
Zero hours contracts
25 June 2014 The Small Business Enterprise and Employment Bill was published setting out provisions banning exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.
Family friendly
30 June 2014 The right to request flexible working arrangements was extended to all employees.
1 October 2014 A new right to unpaid time off for fathers/partners to attend antenatal appointments was introduced.
1 December 2014 A new system of shared parental leave was introduced which applies to parents expecting a baby, or matched for adoption, on or after 5 April 2015. It allows employees to share up to 50 weeks of leave.
Discrimination
6 April 2014 The Government repealed the statutory questionnaire process.
Equal pay
1 October 2014 Regulations came into force allowing a tribunal to order an employer to carry out an equal pay audit in prescribed circumstances where the tribunal finds the employer has discriminated because of sex in relation to contractual or non-contractual pay.
Whistleblowing
June 2014 The Government published its response to its call for evidence on further changes to the whistleblowing framework.

 

2014 CASE LAW ROUND UP
Annual leave
Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd (ECJ) The calculation of statutory holiday pay must include commission where that forms part of a worker’s remuneration. The case will continue in the employment tribunal in 2015 (see below).
Bear Scotland Ltd and others v Fulton and others (EAT) Payments for overtime which a worker is required to work but which an employer is not required to offer forms part of ‘normal remuneration’ and must therefore be taken into account for the calculation of statutory holiday pay.  However, workers can only bring retrospective claims in respect of underpaid holiday where there is less than three months between each underpayment of statutory holiday pay.
Bollacke v K + K Klaas & Kock BV & Co KG The estate of a deceased worker is entitled to a payment in lieu of accrued but untaken statutory annual leave at the time of the worker’s death.
Employment status
Clyde & Co LLP and another v Bates van Winkelhof (SC) An equity partner in a limited liability partnership is a ‘worker’ and eligible to bring a whistleblowing claim.
Illegality
Hounga v Allen (nee Aboyade-Cole and another (SC) An employee can pursue a claim for race discrimination notwithstanding that they have entered the UK dishonestly and have no right to work in this country.
Restraints of trade
Sunrise Brokers LLP v  Rodgers (CA) An injunction was upheld which bound an employee to his employer for six months of his notice period without pay, then prevented him from working for a competitor for a further four months, again without pay. The employee was not entitled to pay unless he was ready and willing to work, and the employer was entitled to refuse to accept the employee’s purported termination in repudiatory breach of contract.
Prophet plc v Huggett (CA) Words could not be read into a non-compete covenant to make sense of the covenant.  This meant that the protection afforded by the covenant was worthless.
Discrimination
Shuter v Ford Motor Company Ltd (ET) The correct comparator for direct discrimination purposes, where it is alleged that a non-enhanced additional paternity pay scheme discriminates again a male employee, is a female employee entitled to additional paternity leave.
Sefton Borough Council v Wainwright (EAT) The duty to offer a woman on maternity leave a suitable alternative vacancy in a redundancy situation arises when the employer becomes aware that her role is redundant or potentially redundant.
Territorial scope
Fuller v United Healthcare Services Inc and another (EAT) A US citizen employed by a US company who spent approximately 49% of his time working in the UK did not fall within the territorial scope of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and Equality Act 2010.

 

2015 CASES ON THE HORIZON
Annual leave
Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd (ET) Whether the WTR can be read to provide that the calculation of statutory holiday pay includes commission where that forms part of a worker’s remuneration.
Employment tribunals
R (Unison) v Lord Chancellor and another (HC) Whether new evidence submitted by UNISON is sufficient to successfully challenge the introduction of employment tribunal fees.
Redundancies
Lyttle and others v Bluebird UK Bidco 2 Ltd (ECJ) Meaning of the term ‘establishment’ and whether the duty to collectively consult arises when 20 or more employees are proposed to be dismissed at a single establishment, or  when there are 20 or more across the whole of the employer’s business.
USDAW and Wilson (the ‘Woolworths’ case) (ECJ) Whether the words ‘at one establishment’ in TULCRA 1992 are to be  disregarded for the purposes of any collective redundancy involving 20 or more employees.
University College Union v University of Stirling (SC) Whether fixed-term employees were dismissed on expiry of their contracts for a ‘reason relating to them as individuals’, rather than ‘redundancy’ with the effect that was no duty to collectively consult.
United States of America v Nolan (CA) Whether the obligation to consult arises when an employer is proposing to make a strategic business or operational decision that will foreseeably lead to collective redundancies, or only once the employer has made that strategic decision and is proposing consequential redundancies.
Discrimination
FOA, acting on behalf of Karsten Kaltoft v Billund Kommune (ECJ) Whether discrimination on grounds of obesity is prohibited by EU law.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.dlapiperbeaware.co.uk/2014-review-of-the-year/