Autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et dolore feugait

Employment Law Round-Up

This month’s employment law round-up covers some interesting and rather important changes that all employers and HR folks should be aware of. Two of the three topics will be welcomed by employers, the other not so much.

Law on Third Party Harassment Repealed

Now to the first bit of good news for employers…

Per the Equality Act 2010 an employer can be vicariously liable for harassment by a third party. An example would be where a female sales assistant at a retail store is sexually harassed by a delivery man that delivers to the store. The delivery man is not employed by the same company as the retail assistant and comes into the store only to deliver goods.

In this example and under the previous law the retail store employer would have been liable for the harassing acts of the delivery man where he had harassed the assistant on at least two previous occasions; and where the employer had failed to take reasonably practicable steps to stop the harassment.

This law has now been repealed effective from 1 October 2013, under The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (Commencement No.3 Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2013.

This should be of great relief in particular to large employers, as keeping tabs on the actions of everyone who comes and goes from a business in this sense has always been nigh on impossible, in particular when one considers that any harassing customer was also considered a third party under the old law.

Fee Remissions Update

As previously reported the remission scheme is now in full effect in the Employment Tribunals. Following the Government’s publication of its response to the consultation on fee remissions it now intends to introduce a single fee system to all the Courts and Tribunals in the UK.

The remission scheme of course requires claimants in employment matters to provide evidence, such as papers confirming receipt of Jobseekers Allowance, so that they qualify for exemption from the recently introduced Tribunal fees.

The good news for employers is that such requirements are being strictly applied and in addition a new disposable capital test has been introduced. Those claimants under 61 with a disposable household capital of between £3,000 and £6,000 will be required to spend up to a third of that capital on fees; those with £8,000 or more will be required to use up to half.

The net result and benefit for employers is that an aggrieved employee will now need to be very sure of the claim they are progressing, as in certain circumstances they could be betting their savings on the outcome.

Financial Penalties for Employers in Tribunal Cases – Update

Now to the bad news for employers…

Under section 16 of the Employment and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, Tribunals will soon be able to slap employers with financial penalties where they have breached a worker’s rights and where there are “aggravating factors”. Such penalties will be capped at up to 50% of any award made to a worker, with an upper limit of £5,000 in total penalties. Much like a parking ticket, any penalty imposed will be halved if paid within 21 days.

So when will this come into effect? Jo Swinson, the Minister for Employment Relations, recently confirmed that the Government intends to implement this new law in April 2014.

If you have a question on how the employment law reforms please do not heistate to contact me or a member of team on 0113 350 4030 or alternative email me at samira.cakali@scesolicitors.co.uk

Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

%d bloggers like this: