News & Views

Winter is coming (so who’s rearing their heads?)…

BY Katy Marshall
Employment law
BG Purple

The mercury is rising and everyone is thinking of kicking back and enjoying their summer holidays, but here at LAW we’ve been busy looking ahead to what’s round the corner in the world of Employment Law over the next few months. 

Legal complexities surrounding holiday pay have received quite a lot of attention over the last year or so.  The ECJ’s recent decision in Lock v British Gas turned a few heads (and maybe some stomachs*) as British employers will now have to do a major rethink when it comes to calculating holiday pay.  As opposed to simply drawing the equation from an employee’s basic wage, employers will now have to factor in any commission earned.  The exact method of calculation remains unknown but we should have some guidance from the courts in the near future. 

Neal v Freightliner and Fulton v Bear Scotland will be heard by the EAT at the end of the month.  The decision (likely to involve the ECJ) will be reached later in the year and shall establish how (if at all) overtime should be factored into holiday pay.  There isn’t sufficient clarity to determine whether that recurring dream/nightmare (for employee/employer) of settling a backlog of underpaid holidays is going to come true yet; so for the time being keep the holiday plans on hold.  

The Court of Appeal will be spending their autumn and winter deliberating on whether or not the controversial Employment Tribunal fee regime is worthy of repeal or not.  If the “principle of effectiveness” (the EU’s standard) has in fact been breached, the Government has committed to repaying all fees with interest (luckily for them, they seem to have discouraged a lot people from paying in the first place). 

October and beyond will bring higher minimum wages as well as new rules for fathers/adopters to attend appointments (more time off, but unpaid).   Also, Employment Tribunals will have the power to issue audits to employers who have breached equal pay regulations.  Once winter has come and (hopefully) begun to move on, spring 2015 will see the legal rights of leave and pay for those adopting children to be brought into line with other parents.  

It’s going to be a busy few months! 

*to hear an indignant American press getting angry about it, see the Wall Street Journal.

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