Updated guidance on slavery and human trafficking in supply chains

The government has updated its guidance on Transparency in Supply Chains. Organisations should keep old Modern Slavery Act statements they have published, even when new ones are produced (to enable various stakeholders to be able to check what the organisation has actually achieved against the previous year’s objectives). Smaller organisations (not obliged to produce a statement) are encouraged to produce a statement or policy. This is advocated on the basis that they may find they need to show a level of compliance as part of satisfying requirements or requests from organisations which are caught by the Modern Slavery Act and with which they contract. This is guidance only, but the requirement to keep previous statements online is certainly best practice.

Uber, Pimlico Plumbers and the gig economy: what now?

While there have not yet been any government proposals arising from the findings of the Taylor Review, the House of Commons Business, Energy, Industry and Skills committee heard evidence last week on the impact of the Review on employment practices. Executives from companies including Deliveroo, Uber and Hermes gave evidence to the committee.

Earlier this month, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) heard Uber’s appeal against last year’s tribunal decision that drivers were workers. Uber argued that its business is no different from that of traditional minicab firms and that like them it operates as the agent of its self-employed drivers. At the end of the hearing, Dinah Rose QC for Uber suggested that the case might be suitable to be heard at the Supreme Court with the Pimlico Plumbers case in February 2018. It will be for the Supreme Court to grant permission if they agree, but meanwhile the EAT’s judgment is expected before Christmas.

Taylor Wessing’s tax team has also recently written on the gig economy and tax issues, and the Good Law Project is crowdfunding its case that Uber should be charging VAT on rides.

An Employer’s guide to the GDPR - a look at the HR and employment law issues

At our recent webinar, Paul Callaghan, Sian Skelton and Stephanie Creed discussed what in-house lawyers and HR professionals with employees in the UK need to be doing to prepare for the GDPR, and introduced the HR Data Privacy products and services that Taylor Wessing has put together to help clients.

If you’d like to know more about it, you can watch the webinar here or contact Paul, Sian or Stephanie.

New right to paid parental bereavement leave

The government has announced that a Bill proposing parents are entitled to bereavement leave is due to be heard in Parliament again this month, with the right expected to come into force in 2020.

Under the plans, to be given a Second Reading in the House of Commons, employees would have a “day one” right to two weeks’ parental bereavement leave from the beginning of their employment. Those with 26 weeks or more service would have a right to receive statutory parental bereavement pay. Although it is not known yet how much that would be, it is expected to be the same as statutory maternity pay and other parental leave – currently £140.98 per week. Small employers will be able to recover all statutory parental bereavement pay while larger employers will be able to reclaim almost all of it.

At present, although many good employers do offer time off, there is no legal requirement for employers to provide paid time off for grieving parents. Employees are, however, allowed to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off to deal with emergencies involving a dependent, which would include the arrangements after a death.