Anticipated changes to legislation

July 2015

Holiday pay

Two year cap on back-dated holiday pay (and most other unauthorised deduction from wages) claims submitted from 1 July.

October 2015

Tribunal recommendations

Power for employment tribunals to make wider recommendations abolished.

Rest of 2015

Employment status

Recommendations from Government employment status review on clarification and potential extension of employee status.

Employment Tribunal fees

Results of Government review of payment and remission of fees in employment tribunals.

Gender pay gap reporting

Consultation on mandatory gender pay gap reporting for employers with 250+ employees.

Industrial action

Trade Unions Bill to introduce minimum 50% turnout in ballots/ backing from 40% of eligible union members for strikes in key services; curbs on intimidation of non-striking workers; time limits for ballot mandates. Possible removal of restrictions on using agency worker cover for striking employees.

Sickness and annual leave

(Still!) awaiting Government response to interaction between annual leave and sickness absence (Modern Workplaces consultation).

Zero hours contracts

Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act banned use of exclusivity clauses if no

guaranteed hours from 26 May 2015; anti-avoidance measures expected.

Key questions Courts expected to address in 2015

European Court of Justice

Does the time a peripatetic employee spends travelling from home to the first customer, and back home from the last, count as working time? Federación de Servicios Privados del Sindicato Comisiones Obreras v Tyco Integrated Security SL.

Court of Appeal

When does an employer’s obligation to consult collectively arise – when the employer is proposing to make a strategic business decision that might lead to redundancies or only once that decision is made? United States of America v Nolan.

Following the European Court’s decision that the duty to consult collectively only arises where the 20 or more redundancies take place at one establishment, was each branch of Woolworths/Ethel Austin a separate establishment? USDAW v Ethel Austin Ltd.

Do the Agency Workers Regulations apply where workers are placed with end user on permanent basis? Moran v Ideal Cleaning Services Ltd.

Is it a reasonable adjustment to adjust an attendance management policy to discount absence for disability-related reasons? Griffiths v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Can a complaint affecting only a group of employees satisfy the requirement that a whistleblowing disclosure must be made in the public interest? Chesterton Global Ltd v Nurmohamed.

Can a US employee who worked up to 49% of time in UK bring unfair dismissal and/or discrimination claims in UK employment tribunal? Fuller v United Healthcare Services Inc.

Can an employer unilaterally change absence management rules in staff handbook? Sparks v Department for Transport.

Can an occupational pension scheme refuse to pay a pension  to a surviving civil partner at the same level as would have been paid to a surviving spouse? Innospec Ltd v Walker.

Employment Appeal Tribunal

Should sales-related commission be included in holiday pay in the same way as non-guaranteed overtime must now be? Lock v British Gas Trading.

Please note the dates and details are provisional and could change during the course of the year.