September Employment Law Update

The Government has set out the consequences, in respect of employment rights, of being unable to agree a Brexit deal when the UK leaves the EU; a BEIS Committee suggests employers with 50 or more employees should be drafted into the requirement to report on their gender pay gap and the Employment Appeal Tribunal declares a refusal to postpone a disciplinary hearing rendered a dismissal unfair.

Government sets out implications of ‘no deal’ Brexit

Although the Government maintains that it is unlikely, it has published guidance on the implications on workplace rights if a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario were to occur. The document reaffirms a commitment to strong labour protections and to legal certainty for employers on their responsibilities.

Parliamentary Committee suggests enhancements to gender pay gap reporting requirements

An inquiry by the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee into the existing gender pay gap reporting requirements has resulted in a number of recommendations for improvement.

Amongst other things, the Committee have suggested widening the reporting requirement to include smaller firms with a minimum of 50 employees. The current minimum threshold is set at 250 employees.

Home Office announces plans for a review into the Modern Slavery Act

The Home Office has outlined their plans to undertake a review to evaluate the effectiveness of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The review will focus on strengthening existing legislation and placing a greater emphasis on employers to ensure modern slavery does not exist within their supply chains. Current legislation requires employers who meet a minimum turnover threshold to publish a modern slavery statement; this may be lowered as a result of the review.

Case law

In Talon Engineering Limited v Smith, the Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that an employee was unfairly dismissed when the employer failed to postpone a disciplinary hearing to allow the employee to be accompanied.

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