Welcome to Employment Edit, our pick of the key employment law developments from the last couple of weeks:
- Restrictive covenants – A recent High Court decision serves as a reminder that the enforceability of restrictive covenants is assessed as at the date they are entered into and not when you later try to enforce them. In this case, a restriction that was held to unenforceable when entered into given the employee's junior role at the time, remained unenforceable on his departure, despite his having worked his way up to a senior position with access to key business contacts and confidential information. As part of any promotion or role change, employers should, as a matter of course, review the suitability of any existing covenants and consider if new or varied covenants are required (Bartholomews Agri Food Ltd v Thornton). It is also important to address whether specific consideration will be needed if you want new or varied employee restraints to be valid (Re-Use Collections Ltd v Sendall).
- Immigration skills charge – to incentivise the training of British workers, the government plans to introduce a new charge, from April 2017, requiring employers to pay £1,000 a year for each migrant they employ in skilled areas.
- Apprentices and young workers – Acas has published a new guide to help employers to manage and support apprentices and young workers. In addition, BIS has published guidance on how the Apprenticeship Levy will work.
- Sex discrimination – Acas have also published new guidance for employers and employees on how to prevent sex discrimination in the workplace.
- National minimum wage and living wage – BIS have published a new booklet on how to calculate the minimum wage, what counts as pay, what hours need to be counted, and how the minimum wage is enforced.