The new gender pay gap reporting requirements were expected to be published this summer; come into force in October 2016 and require the first gender pay gap reports to be published by April 2018 (with annual reports required thereafter). However, the Government Equalities Office now envisages that the regulations will be put before Parliament in the autumn, and will be on the books in April 2017. Deadlines for first reports are likely to remain the same, however.
The EAT decision this time last year in Ramphal v Department for Transport, that the extent of HR's involvement could have been sufficient to render the claimant's dismissal unfair, raised concerns about the limits of the role that HR should play in the disciplinary process. In Dronsfield v University of Reading, the final version of the investigation report that the University had relied on in dismissing the employee had been heavily influenced and amended in the light of HR and in-house legal advice.
Opinions favourable to the employee had been cut out. The EAT said that the tribunal ought to have asked whether the conclusions of the investigating manager were fully expressed in the final report and whether, in the light of the changes that had been made and how they had come about, it had been reasonable to dismiss.
In AA Solicitors Ltd t/a AA Solicitors v Majid the EAT has said that tribunals can adjust the Vento bands for injury to feelings discrimination compensation to take account of inflation without the need to wait for guidance from the EAT or any higher court. Provided that there is convincing evidence of the rate of inflation, tribunals can adjust the band ranges and any award for injury to feelings accordingly. This reflects practice in personal injury cases. And, pending the appeal in the De Souza case later this year, the prevailing opinion is to include the 10% "Simmons v Castle" uplift in the Vento bands.
Folkestone Nursing Home Ltd v Patel looks at what happens to a dismissal when the employee's appeal is successful – does it "vanish", so that an unfair dismissal claim can't be brought? The employee appealed against his dismissal for misconduct and was told that the decision had been revoked. The EAT decided that, despite the appeal only addressing one of the two allegations against him, this meant that he had not been dismissed, with the result that the employment tribunal couldn’t hear his unfair dismissal claim.