Welcome to Employment Edit, our pick of the key employment law developments from the last couple of weeks:
- Disability and reasonable adjustments – the Court of Appeal has held that it was not necessary to ignore a disability-related absence of 62 days for the purposes of an absence management policy when further lengthy periods of absence were anticipated - Griffiths v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. This is a helpful case for employers but, in the case of a disabled employee who is likely to have limited and only occasional absences, it may be necessary to consider whether the trigger point for warnings in an absence management policy should be extended in order to comply with the duty to make reasonable adjustments.
- Indirect discrimination – the practice of linking pay to length of service has been held by the Court of Appeal not to indirectly discriminate against a Muslim prison chaplain on grounds of religion or race. Even though the average basic pay of Muslim chaplains employed by the Prison Service was lower than that of Christian chaplains, this disadvantage was because there was insufficient demand for Muslim chaplains before 2002 and so Muslim chaplains have, on average, shorter service than non-Muslim chaplains. Naeem v The Secretary of State for Justice.
- NMW - The draft National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2016 have been laid before Parliament and will come into force on 1 April 2016. In addition to the changes to allow for the National Living Wage rate of £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and over, the penalty payable by employers who underpay the NMW will increase from 100% to 200% of the underpayment due to each worker.
- Statutory rates – the statutory rates of SMP, SAP, SPP and ShPP will remain the same for the tax year 2016 – 2017 at £139.58.
- Disability – Acas has published a new guide on Disability discrimination – key points for the workplace.