Government action on holiday pay claims

Recent litigation in the UK involving the proper calculation of holiday pay resulted in many workers having potential claims for historic shortfalls in their holiday pay. Those workers bringing claims for unpaid holiday pay in Tribunal could recover past shortfalls in their pay over an unlimited period, provided there was a series of deductions from their pay and their claim was filed within three months of the last shortfall.

Because of this potentially unlimited period and to limit the impact on businesses, the Government introduced a change to the law which limits such claims filed on or after 1 July 2015 to shortfalls which occurred in the two year period before the claim is filed. For further information, read our briefing.

Tribunal fees regime challenge fails

In 2013 the Government introduced new fees payable by workers and ex-workers wishing to sue their employer in the Employment Tribunal. Previously, making an employment claim was free to claimants and the Government’s aim was to reduce the burden on the taxpayer and encourage disputes to be settled before litigation.

A trade union took court action to challenge the introduction of fees on the basis that they are “unjust and discriminatory” and prevent many whose rights have been infringed from obtaining redress. This challenge failed last year, however, permission to appeal was granted. Given a possible change of government as a result of the upcoming general election, it remains possible that fees will be reduced or otherwise reformed going forwards.

What’s on the employment agenda in 2015?

A number of employment changes are anticipated in the first half of this year, including a new parental leave regime. For further details, read our briefing. In addition, there are a number of employment cases pending before the courts and Tribunals which have the potential to impact on HR policy and practice – further details are here.