Calculating holiday pay (updated 2017)

Holiday pay must now include payments for regular overtime and contractual results-based commission.
Updated to look at October 2016’s Court of Appeal decision in Lock vs British Gas and we look at October’s 2014 Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision that says overtime should be included when calculating holiday pay (the combined cases of Bear Scotland

AWR – end-hirer liable for underpayment of an agency worker

Since the Agency Workers Regulations were introduced on 1st October 2011 very few cases have yet come to Employment Tribunal (the ones that have are detailed here), but in September 2014 an Employment Tribunal found that the end-hirer of the agency worker, not the agency that actually employed the worker, had to compensate the worker

Government funded Occupational Health Service for SMEs

In early 2013, the government unveiled details of an occupational health scheme aimed to save Employers money and help tackle long-term sickness absence in the workplace.  Figures from 2011 estimated that sickness costs UK Employers £9 billion a year.
This summer the Government announced the new scheme – the Health and Work Service – would

Deciphering your legal status and IR35

Many new freelancers and contractors may be vaguely aware of IR35, but not know when and where it applies. Before getting too intimate with the ins and outs of the IR35 legislation, the first step is to know if IR35 is even relevant to your situation.
Broadly speaking, there are three different legal structures under

How to deal with an Acas conciliation request

If an employee or ex-employee has a potential Employment Tribunal claim, from May 2014 they are required to contact Acas first, who will then contact their employer.
There have been a lot of changes to the Employment Tribunal system in the last 2 years and this is the latest one, which may be significant for employers.

Latest Employment Tribunal News

Several changes have been made to the Employment Tribunal proceedings in England, Wales and Scotland over the past two years. Further changes will also come into effect in the near future so here we look at the latest Tribunal news!
We look at all the changes here.
Introduced on 6th April 2014, but made fully

What happens if I’m injured at a client’s premises?

While the latest figures from the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) show that the total numbers of accidents at work fell compared to the previous year, serious incidents, injuries and accidents unfortunately still happen and the rate of fatalities at work hovers between 0.45 to 0.5 per 100,000 workers.
The HSE oversees the implementation and

Limited Company Contractors not always protected under Equality Act

Are LCC’s protected under the Equality Act? It is common in many industry sectors for workers to work through a Limited Liability Company (or Personal Service Company).
In a recent case at an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) – Halawi v WDFG UK Ltd – the Judges considered whether a Limited Liability Company (LLC) Contractor was

Statutory Sick Pay changes could affect small employers

A major change to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) comes into force on 6th April 2014, which will affect all employers.
Currently, under the Percentage Threshold Scheme (PTS), employers can recover SSP costs for their employees’ sickness if the total SSP paid in a tax month is more than 13% of their gross Employers’ (Class 1)

Keep your staff happy, they cost £30,000 to replace

A recent study by economics consultancy Oxford Economics found that the average cost of replacing a member of staff when they leave is more than £30,000. You need to keep your staff happy!
The survey was carried out in the legal, retail, accountancy, media, advertising, IT and technology sectors and found that the overall financial

Employing school leavers – a change in the law for young people

From the start of the 2013/14 Academic year the Government changed the law on how long young people are required to stay in education or training.
Raising the Participation Age‘ (RPA) means that young people must now stay in education or training longer.
‘Raising the Participation Age‘ (RPA) means that young people must now stay

What languages should be spoken at work

With the diversity of workforces in the UK today, there will inevitably be many workers of different nationalities and with different languages and cultures.  This will mean that employers may need to deal with issues regarding what language is used in the workplace, particularly if many workers do not have English as their first language.

Unison lose their bid to overturn tribunal fees

In January 2011 the Government announced it was going to reform “workplace disputes” practices with the aim of encouraging both employers and employees to resolve disputes themselves. This was in order to reduce the number of tribunal claims, and to speed up the claims that do arise.
Traditionally, Employment Tribunals  are used to help resolve workplace disputes

Time workers should be paid the NMW to ‘sleep over’

At the end of 2013 an important case went to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) – Whittlestone v BJP Home Support Ltd – which confirmed that employees who are engaged on ‘time work’*, and who are required to ‘sleep over’ at a specified location as part of their work, are entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage for

Should employers fear the office Christmas party?

Your Christmas Party is normally pretty lively and good fun, but employers need to consider various factors beforehand, so there are no problems (yawn – but bear with us here!).
Unfortunately, because of various pieces of legislation, employers need to have a policy in place setting out the standards of acceptable behaviour for their workers

European Union decides surrogate mothers can take maternity leave

The European Court of Justice in 2013 advised that a British woman who had a child through a surrogate mother is entitled to paid maternity leave.
Women who adopt a child in the UK are entitled to the same statutory adoption pay as pregnant mothers, but families who choose to use a surrogate mother to

‘Without Prejudice’ rules explained (and Settlement Agreements)

‘Without Prejudice’ Rules have existed for a long time and are used by an employer when they and an employee have a dispute in their working relationship which they are trying to resolve in the most amicable way. We look at what this means and how it can be used here.
The ‘Without Prejudice’

RIDDOR changes from 1st October 2013

RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations and is one of the important pieces of UK Health and Safety legislation.
Some major revisions to the Regulations were made on 1st October 2013, which we summarise here.
Including…. RIDDOR requires employers (and freelancers) to report and keep records of work-related accidents which

Third party harassment provisions in Equality Act repealed

The 2010 Equality Act contained the concept of Third Party Harassment, where employers could be held liable for harassment of their workers by 3rd parties.  This meant that employers could be potentially liable for harassment of their employees by people (third parties) who are not employees of the company, such as customers or clients.
After

Employee Shareholder Contracts now in force!

A new type of employment contract – the Employee Shareholder Contract – came to life on 1st September 2013 (as part of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill). UPDATED 2016.
Under this new contract employees give away some of their employment rights in exchange for receiving shares between £2,000 – £50,000 in their company (and benefiting from tax advantages on these shares).

Military Reservists get more employment protection

At the beginning of July 2013 the Ministry of Defence published a whitepaper aimed at helping them plan their resourcing requirements when reserve forces are deployed on operations.  The whitepaper made several suggestions relating to reservists normal employment and made a commitment to provide employers with fewer than 250 staff “more notice [of when their

New Employment Tribunal rules from 29th July

Several important changes will happen to Employment Tribunals at the end of July. Firstly, and most importantly, Tribunal fees are being introduced. In addition, some Employment Tribunal Rules are changing and Compensatory Award limits are changing. Here we’ll run through the changes.
The new rules:

A claim from an applicant will be rejected if it is

Portable criminal record checks now live

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) in late 2012 is there to help employers make safe recruitment decisions, and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. In this article we look at what the DBS are responsible for, including

New Equal Pay ruling regarding comparators is good news for female workers

A ruling by the Supreme Court at the end of June has effectively handed women the legal right to demand the same pay as male colleagues doing a different job of ‘equal value’.  (for more info on this see our article here about Equality issues).
The Supreme Court ruled in favour of more than 200 female

The Conduct of Employment Agencies Regulations 2003

It’s a long title, but these Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations are important for Limited Company Contractors (or Personal Service Companies) and agency temps.
These regulations were introduced in April 2004 (2005 in Northern Ireland) and were updated in 2010. They provide a framework of minimum standards that govern the conduct of the private recruitment industry in

Can an Agency worker become permanent at the company they work for?

An Agency worker (temp) is usually contracted and paid by the Agency who employs them, and the Company that hires them pays a fee to the Agency for their work.
Here though, we consider if it is possible for an agency worker to be seen as a permanent employee of the company they work for (not the

Can disciplinary or grievance meetings be audio recorded?

There could be various reasons you, or your Employer, may wish to audio-record important work meetings/hearings, including the hope that this will support your/their position should a claim be made to an employment tribunal in the future. Should you? We look at the details here.
However neither an employee, nor an employer, has the right to record

Guidance for employees about retirement

The statutory default retirement age (DRA) of 65 years was removed in 2011, meaning that Employers cannot automatically end your employment when you reach that age anymore (in most circumstances). We look at what this actually means for Employees and Employers in our article here.

So what does this actually mean?
For many workers

Disability Discrimination – what makes a worker disabled under the Equality Act 2010?

When considering if a worker is disabled or not for the purposes of being covered by the Equality Act 2010, Employers must consider the impact of any physical or mental impairment (disability) on the workers “ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”. We look at all the details you need to know here.

Can an LCC be in scope of the Agency Workers Regulations?

Although many commentators believe that the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) were not intended to apply to ‘professionals’ with their own limited companies (also called Personal Service Company contractors) it is certainly possible, in specific circumstances, that limited company contractors, working through a recruitment agency, may be in scope of the AWR and so have the right to ‘equal’

Agency Workers have discrimination rights under the AWR

In September 2012 an Employment Tribunal found that an agency worker had discrimination rights and awarded her a large sum of money for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal against the Company she was employed to work at. We look at the details of the case here.

In Pegg v Camden Council, the Tribunal heard

Can an employee be dismissed because of their political opinions?

The European Court of Human Rights says no, you can’t be dismissed because of your political opinions!
In the case of Redfearn v the United Kingdom, the Court of Human Rights found that the UK had violated article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights – the right to freedom of assembly and association

Short-time working and lay-offs – can you use them?

It can be quite common that during a bad patch an employer, rather than make redundancies, may choose to make other changes to your Employment contract including lay-offs and short-time working.
Two options your employer may consider are Lay-offs and Short-time working – and we look at what this means in our article here.
Lay-offs

Important AWR case gets to Tribunal

Finally at the end of 2012, over a year after the Agency Workers Regulations were introduced in October 2011, a case about the Swedish Derogation model came to Tribunal. We look at this case and subsequent cases regarding the AWR in our article here.
This case found Recruitment Agency Monarch Personnel Refuelling defending a claim

What are zero-hour contracts, and can casual workers ever become employees?

With the introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations in 2010, many Companies are believed to be using far more zero-hour contract workers now, instead of Agency temps. At Workline we get a lot of queries from people employed on zero-hour contracts, so in our article here we look at these types of contracts in more

Have you heard of the Living Wage?

The only legislation that currently exists in the UK regarding pay is the National Minimum Wage legislation which says that:
The minimum wage is a legal right that covers almost all workers above compulsory school leaving age. There are different minimum wage rates for different age groups of workers as follows:
 

The main

Hours and rest breaks for UK goods vehicle drivers – Part 2

(This post is from our Workline article base, which is now on the Crunch website).
There are different rules for drivers depending on what they drive. All the rules in our article here only apply to vehicles that are used for the ‘carriage of goods by road’. This is defined as any journey made entirely or

Hours and rest breaks for UK goods vehicle drivers – Part 1

(This post is from our Workline article base, which is now on the Crunch website).
There are different rules for drivers depending on what they drive. All the rules in our article here only apply to vehicles that are used for the ‘carriage of goods by road’. This is defined as any journey made entirely, or

Volunteers may soon be protected by discrimination laws

Currently all employees and workers in the European Union are entitled to work without being discriminated against in relation to ‘protected characteristics’, under the European Directive on Equal Treatment in Employment and Occupation.
These ‘protected characteristics’ include:

Age
Disability
Gender reassignment
Race
Religion or belief
Sex
Sexual orientation
Marriage and civil partnership
Pregnancy and

Everything you need to know about references (part 2)

In our second article on References here we look at what obigations a previous employer has whey they provide a reference.

The Data Protection Employment Practices Code recommends:

That employers have a policy on giving references that includes a requirement that “all those giving corporate references must be satisfied that the worker wishes

Everything you need to know about references (part 1)

In our first article on References here we look at whether Employers have to seek references when recruiting and whether there is a legal obligation for a previous employer to give a reference to their ex-employee?
Includes….. Is there a legal obligation for a previous employer to give a reference to their ex-employee?
There is

Workplace surveillance: can your employer spy on you at work?

With CCTV cameras everywhere you go these days, how likely is it that your employer or client will be keeping an eye on you? Basically, quite likely. Employers can monitor staff through a variety of methods  – but it must do so in a way that is consistent with several legal requirements and we take a

Trust and Confidence – what does it really mean, and what happens when it breaks down?

We look at the Implied Terms in your contract of employment that are probably not written down anywhere, but are understood to exist because of the conduct of the parties, which includes Trust and Confidence. They should be fairly obvious to both parties to the contract. If there’s nothing clearly agreed between you and your

For what reasons can I be made redundant?

In this article we look at the scenarios when your employer is considering making redundancies, and in what situations can they make you redundant?
The Employment Rights Act 1996 (the law that currently covers making redundancies) says that, ‘an employee is dismissed by reason of redundancy if the dismissal is wholly or mainly attributable to

What is religious discrimination?

Religious discrimination employment law cases have been in the news for most of the last year and with four important UK cases going to the European Court of Human Rights in September 2012, we thought we’d have a look at this in more detail here. Religion or belief is a ‘protected characteristic’ that should

Holiday entitlement and sick leave – some clarity?

There has been plenty of confusion surrounding how workers holiday entitlements interact with sickness absence. With several years of conflicting UK and European Court decisions, we are finally getting close to some clarity about what entitlements people have to holiday entitlement when they are sick.
Here we break down what we know so far.

Continuity of Service – for employees and workers

We thought we’d look at the concept of continuity of service in more detail here, as it is important for employees and workers in terms of the employment rights that you are entitled to.
Continuous employment usually means working for the same employer without a break and is worked out in months and years, starting

Peter Stringfellow – how he is clarifying employment law

Last year there was an important employment law case about employment status that showed that Employment Tribunals would focus on the actual reality of working relationships when determining whether someone is self-employed or not, and not focus on what the contractual documentation actually said (Autoclenz v Belcher, see the details here).
This year there has

Your employer is making you redundant but has offered you another job – must you accept it?

Your job is at risk of redundancy, and your employer has offered you redeployment to another job in the same company – are you obliged to take it? We look at the details in our article here.
Redeployment
Employers need to consider the following factors when deciding if an alternative role will be ‘suitable’

I’ve been overpaid! What should I do?

If you have been accidentally overpaid by your employer, it may seems like a lucky bonus, but don’t assume you can keep the money!  Here we look at overpayments for Employees and Freelancers/Sole-Traders.
For employees
Where an employer has made an accidental overpayment of wages or expenses (including holiday pay), the legal position is that

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