February 2016 Employment Law Update


Whistleblowing: Prescribed People

The whistleblowing legislation provides protection for employees who “blow the whistle” on certain illegal or other activities being carried out by their employer. There are specific rules about when such a disclosure of information is protected by the legislation. For example, while a disclosure will usually be proctected if it is made to the employer, the employee can also raise concerns with a specific ‘prescribed person’, provided the information is within their area and truthful. The Government maintains a list of prescribed persons and this has recently been updated. You can access the list here

National Minimum Wage

Don’t forget the NMW Amendment Regulations 2016 come into force on 1 April 2016. The National Living Wage premium of 50p per hour will be added to the NMW rate for workers over 25 years old, meaning their new minimum wage rate will be £7.20 per hour.

Holiday Pay: interpreting UK and EU law

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has again confirmed that UK law should be interpreted to comply with EU law in relation to disputes about holiday pay and that commission should be included in the calculation of holiday pay.

In this case, the employee was paid a basic salary and received results-based commission. However, only basic pay was paid during any period of leave and the employee therefore suffered a reduced income during periods of leave. The employee brought a claim arguing that the reduced income amounted to a breach of the Working Time Regulations 1998.

The first Employment Tribunal hearing held that the employee’s results-based commission should have been included when calculating holiday pay, otherwise the worker would be placed at a financial disadvantage when taking statutory annual leave. The employer appealed against this decision. On appeal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the tribunal’s decision and held that it is necessary to imply words into domestic law to ensure it complies with EU law.

This again highlights that the Working Time Regulations 1998 must conform to the requirements of EU law, with the consequence that commission should be included in the four weeks’ statutory paid holiday required under the Regulations.

UPDATE: Gender Pay Reporting

The draft regulations regarding the reporting of information on the gender pay gap have been published and are expected to come into force in October 2016. The new Regulations require employers with more than 250 employees to publish average pay information gained from the whole workforce and explain how many men and women make up the pay grades.

The Employer will then be required to publish the information on their website every year and leave the details there for a minimum of three years. The employer must also provide this information directly to the Government.

The consultation regarding the proposals is continuing until 11 March 2016 – you can access further information here

If you are responsible for HR matters within your business (or interested in employment law discussion), please contact us to attend the monthly HR Network sessions run by Julie Taylor from GL and Michelle Bailey from People Essentials. The next Newbury meeting is on Monday 14 March 2016 at 5pm and the same time in Maidenhead on Monday 4 April 2016.

Share this Newsletter