NMT HR Services Limited – Tips and Insights – HR Strategic Support/ Employment Law Update

NMT HR Services Limited – Tips and Insights – HR Strategic Support/ Employment Law Update

NMT HR Services Ltd – Tips and Insights Blog No 10 – HR Strategic Support/ Employment Law Update

This is the 9th blog in the series and follows on from Blog No. 9 (October 2017 Newsletter) which related to employing young people.

Introduction

There have been a number of developments on the Employment Law front in recent weeks. This blog covers those that may well affect you as business owners and managers . . .

1. Average holiday pay:

The latest Employment Tribunal (ET) ruling in the case of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council vs Willets, has ruled on the issue of Voluntary Overtime. It concludes that all elements of voluntary overtime must be considered when calculating average holiday pay (for the first 20 days of entitlement).

Therefore, within the ET process all of the “what if?” queries have been answered via case law, and NMT HR Services Ltd. recommend that all employers should apply Average Holiday Pay to workers. 

Actions/Considerations fo Businesses

Check that your payroll systems can accommodate this

Issue a letter/written notification to employees

Implement into your payroll process

2. Removal of Employment Tribunal (ET) fees:

The recent case of Unison vs Lord Chancellor determined that ET and Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) fees are unlawful.

It was concluded that Tribunals and Courts are a “public good” and therefore people have the constitutional right to access them. By having excessive fees in place, it was judged that this may prevent people’s ability to access the service, therefore making it unlawful. Fees were abolished on the day of the ruling.

The Courts are currently trying to work out how to pay fees back to all those that have paid (c. £33 million to pay back!). Claims doubled in August since the removal of the fees.

Actions/Considerations for Businesses Actions

Ensure all employment practices are legally compliant (or that the business is aware of any risk associated with their current practices by seeking professional HR advice)

Ensure recruitment practices are ethical and documented

Ensure all employees have legally compliant contracts of employment and that these are issued to employees within 8 weeks of commencement of their employment

Ensure the business has legally compliant policies in place for managing people under various scenarios, that these are communicated to staff, and are fairly & consistently applied.

3. Restrictive Covenants:

In the case of Tillman vs Egon Zehnder – the ET ruling determined that these cannot be enforced if the covenant is too broad. i.e. “You shall not … directly or indirectly ….. engage or be concerned or interested in any business…. “ . 

The Court of Appeal took exception to the wording “interested in” –  as this would prevent a person from having a shareholding, resulting in “restraint of trade” – which rendered the covenant unenforceable.

Actions/Considerations for Businesses

Check employment contracts and revise the relevance of the restrictive covenants (*)

Businesses cannot simply reissue contracts with revised clauses, they must apply consideration. i.e. financial reward.

(*) If NMT HR Services Ltd has provided you with Contracts of Employment, we will be reviewing this for you, in line with the new guidelines

4. General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) – 25 May 2018

New, more enhanced Data Protection regulations come into place next year, with more constraints for Data Processors and larger fines for non-compliance.  Fines up to £20 million.

Actions/Considerations for Businesses

Understand the actions required for the business and generate a plan

Review current Data Protection Policy and update where required (*)

Brief out to all staff and in particular anyone handling or processing data

Is the business registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)?

(*) If NMT HR Services Ltd has provided you with a Data Protection Policy, we will be reviewing this for you, in line with the new regulations implementation next year. Jan 2018 blog will also focus on the GDPR and the change to the regulations

Minimum Wage and National Living Wage April 2017 – an Overview

With the introduction of the National Living Wage the penalty for non-payment is 200% of the amount owed, unless the arrears are paid within 14 days. The maximum fine for non-payment is £20,000 per worker. However, employers who fail to pay will be banned from being a company director for up to 15 years.

Further details on all of the above can be made available by NMT HR Services Ltd on request and assistance or mentoring can be made available to businesses on any of the topics mentioned.