New Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act

New Legislation Enacted

The new Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018, which was enacted on September 13 and will come into effect in 2020, grants parents who experience the loss of a child under 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy 2 weeks’ leave (if they have 26 weeks’ continuous service with their employer). These employees will be entitled to statutory pay, currently set at £145.18 per week for other types of family leave. Some employers may choose to offer enhanced pay in line with their compassionate leave policy. Employers should update their compassionate leave policy and practices ahead of the expected implementation.

Sleep-In Workers Not Entitled to National Minimum Wage Whilst Asleep

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

The Court of Appeal on July 13, 2018, clarified that workers on sleep-in shifts (i.e., shifts where workers are expected to sleep but are on call to be awoken to work if needed) are only entitled to have their hours counted for National Minimum Wage (NMW) purposes when they are (and are required to be) awake for the purpose of performing some specific activity. They are not entitled to receive the NMW for the entirety of the shift, including the hours in which they are asleep.

Decision on When an Employee’s Notice Is Not a Valid Resignation

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

On June 5, 2018, the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld an Employment Tribunal decision that an employee’s letter giving her employer “one month’s notice” was not a letter of resignation from employment because wording of the resignation was not clear and unambiguous, and the letter had to be understood in light of the relevant context.

Disclosure of Rape Acquittal in Criminal Record Check Did Not Breach Privacy

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

On July 30, 2018, the UK Supreme Court ruled that disclosure of a rape acquittal by police in an enhanced criminal record check did not breach the right to privacy under the European Convention of Human Rights. AR, who had been charged with rape, but later acquitted by a jury, alleged that police’s disclosure of this acquittal prevented him from obtaining employment. Enhanced criminal record checks are required to work with vulnerable populations and may include unproven allegations if police are satisfied they are “relevant” and “ought to be included”. The Supreme Court found this did not breach AR’s right to privacy.

Court of Appeal Clarifies Law on Privilege and Internal Investigations

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

On September 5, 2018, the Court of Appeal found that internal investigation documents prepared by both lawyers and forensic accountants were protected from disclosure by litigation privilege. Litigation privilege arises where litigation is reasonably contemplated and documents are created for that purpose. This decision will give comfort to employers who carry out internal investigations into potential wrongdoing as they are now more likely to be able to claim privilege.