Welcome to Employment Edit, our pick of the key employment law developments from the last couple of weeks:
- Trade Union Bill – The Trade Union Bill has now received Royal Assent and has become the Trade Union Act 2016. The key provisions are a requirement for a turnout of at least 50% in votes for industrial action and, in certain public services, a requirement that 40% of eligible members support action. However, the Act is not yet in force and the commencement date is still to be announced.
- Holiday pay – In the latest decision about holiday pay, an employment tribunal has held that voluntary overtime that is sufficiently regular over a significant period of time should be considered to be normal pay and included in a worker’s holiday pay. Whilst this decision is only first instance and not binding, it follows a decision of the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal in Patterson v Castlereagh Borough Council last year that there was no reason in principle why voluntary overtime could not be included in the calculation of holiday pay and it gives an indication of the approach tribunals are taking. (White & Others v Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council). We expect to get further clarity on how to calculate holiday pay after the appeal in British Gas v Lock has been heard by the Court of Appeal on 11 and 12 July 2016.
- Gender pay reporting – Businesses should bear in mind that the data for the first gender pay bonus report will be based on those employees who receive bonus pay in the 12 month period from 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2017. The Gender Pay Gap Information Regulations, once finalised, will require the report to be published by 30 April 2018. For more information please see our gender pay gap briefing.
- Restrictive covenants – BIS has announced a call for evidence on whether post-termination restrictions in employment contracts are acting as a barrier to employment, innovation and entrepreneurship and are hindering British start-ups from hiring the brightest talent. This is part of a wider National Innovation Plan: call for ideas in which the government is seeking views on how it can drive innovation and help businesses create new opportunities.