2014 has proved to be an exciting year for employment law and looking ahead to 2015 it looks set to be another busy year. So, along with a host of unwanted Christmas gifts and the standard January detox what else can we look forward to in the New Year?
Although the recent EAT judgment in Fulton, Hertel and Neal provided some guidance on the calculation of holiday pay, rest assured that this is not the last time we will hear of it. Come 2015 Employers will have to grapple with existing holiday pay claims as well as determining how their internal policies and practices will be amended to be brought in line with the recent case law.
The case of Lock v British Gas Trading Limited is also expected to be heard on 4 February 2015. This case considered payment of commission and is returning to the Tribunal to consider if domestic legislation can be interpreted in line with the ECJ’s decision in Williams & Others v British Airways and if it can, the level of holiday pay to which the Claimant was entitled. We shall continue to keep a watchful eye on holiday pay developments and will be tweeting live from the Lock hearing in February.
For an in depth analysis of the recent case law on calculating holiday read our Executive report
Judicial Review of Tribunal Fees
Unison’s latest judicial review application against the legality of Tribunal fees was dismissed on 17 December by the High Court. This latest development would suggest that Tribunal fees are here to stay for the time being. That being said Unison have been given permission to appeal and with the general election looming, the issue of Tribunal fees is sure to be a 2015 talking point.
Zero Hours Contracts
Love them or hate them, the issue of zero hours contracts are still on topic for 2015. The government plans to prohibit employers from restricting zero hours workers from working for other businesses, however, this is unlikely to be implemented before the general election.
Shared Parental Leave
Employers can also look forward to the administrative burden of dealing with shared parental leave which will be available for children whose expected week of childbirth begins on or after 5 April 2015 or who are placed for adoption on or after that date.
In summary, eligible parents will be entitled to share a maximum of 50 week’s leave and 37 week’s statutory pay upon the birth or adoption of a child. Statutory adoption pay will also be amended with the introduction of a 6 week pay period at 90% of earnings.
General Election May 2015
On 7 May 2015 the UK population will take to the polling stations to determine who will be in government for the next five years. The four main political parties have put forward a number of employment related reforms which include the following:
1. Introduction of a British Bill of Rights which will replace the existing Human Rights Act.
2. The introduction of a 50% minimum voting threshold for a strike to be lawful.
3. Ending the use of exclusive zero hours contracts.
1. Minimum wage to be increased to £8 per hour by 2020.
2. Free childcare for working parents to be increased to 25 hours per week.
3. Major reforms to the employment tribunal system including tackling the much disputed Tribunal fees.
1. The increase of minimum wage for apprentices.
2. Greater assistance for litigants in person.
3. Job seekers names to be blanked out on their application form in the public sector in an attempt to cut discrimination.
1. For the UK to leave the EU.
2. A replacement of the Human Rights Act with a new British Bill of Rights.
3. A positive right to discriminate in favour of young British workers in an employment context.
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