Posted by Kate Benefer, Partner
Our Hubs are a joint initiative for senior HR professionals to discuss current employment law issues. The Hubs are an excellent opportunity to share experiences, best practice and innovative thinking.
In the last year there has been a 69 per cent jump in the number of sex discrimination claims brought to British employment tribunals in the year to March. The figures from the Ministry of Justice for the year 2018-19 showed that 9,340 claims were lodged at tribunal, up from 5,522 the previous year.
The Good Work Plan outlines some “progressive” proposals to reform employment law within the UK. A number of the recommended policy changes would introduce laws that should afford employees and workers additional and extended protections during their working lives.
In April 2017 the public sector became subject to new “off-payroll working rules”. The government intends to extend these rules to the private sector with effect from 6 April 2020, and has recently entered into a period of consultation.
With the festive season now in full swing, hopefully it’s only the repetitive Christmas music giving you a headache. However, without wanting to sound like Scrooge, you must be aware during the festivities of employment law issues that could cause an even bigger headache.
In January 2017, in response to a report from the Women and Equalities Committee,the Government committed to “strengthen existing protections and…to review the position in relation to redundancy” for pregnant employees. Faced with increasing requests for help to their advice line, the charity Maternity Action have produced a report which calls on the Government to urgently act on its commitment. What are the implications of this report for employers?
Basic rights for all workers, clear rules, robust penalties for employers, and new tax laws for the self employed; all are key to a fair and modern work place according to a government commissioned report.
“Hounded from her job after a string of racist remarks … stress of it led to a miscarriage?” “Uber’s sexual harassment case shines a light on a start ups culture of defiance”
Headlines like these are the stuff of nightmares for corporate Boards and the last thing CEOs want to spend their time explaining to concerned shareholders. However, even in the best run organisations, claims with the potential to generate this type of publicity can be an occupational hazard.
Best practice guidance is readily available in the form of ‘Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures’ which sets a benchmark for employers to deal fairly and consistently with employee misconduct and complaints.