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Tag Archive

Changes to Employment Law from April 2020

April brings with it the usual annual increases to the national minimum wage and statutory pay for family-friendly leave and sickness absence. But the effects of Good Work: the Taylor review of modern working practices, published in 2017, are still being felt and changes are being introduced to protect vulnerable workers in increasingly flexible business models.

Changes to IR35 tax rules are also expected along with the introduction of the right to parental bereavement leave. A raft of measures designed to protect vulnerable workers also come into force.

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How to Handle Staff Requests for Leave this Christmas

With the festive season fast approaching, employers will no doubt be considering a plethora of holiday requests from their employees. It is essential therefore that, to avoid any claims under the Equality Act 2010 or the Working Time Regulations 1998, employers should carefully consider whether their holiday policies are up to date.  

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Holiday Pay: voluntary overtime

There has been a number of recent cases which have examined the issues surrounding holiday pay. A claim often made by employees’ is that the voluntary overtime they work should be included in the calculation of their holiday pay. The recent decision in ‘Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts’ provides us with some clarity in respect of the issue.  

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Easter Bank Holidays and Part Time Workers

Most businesses employ part time workers but some find calculating part time holiday entitlement difficult, especially when it comes to bank holidays.  As Easter approaches and many employees look forward to a long weekend, we decided to bring you some key advice on calculating holiday entitlement for your part time workers.

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Two Easter Bank Holidays in One Leave Year

Employees are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ annual leave under the Working Time Regulations (WTR). For those working a 5 day week they will be entitled 28 days’ leave per year, which can include bank holidays, of which there are usually eight per year.

If employers have worded contracts entitling employees to “20 days’ holiday plus bank holidays”, this could lead to one of two problems, where the holiday year runs from 1 April until 31 March. Either employees receive more bank holidays than their contractual entitlement or less than the statutory minimum.

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The continued holiday pay saga: Voluntary overtime

Regular readers will be aware that the Bear Scotland case gave a sense of security to employers when the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) ruled that non-guaranteed overtime (where the employer is not obliged to provide overtime but the employee is obliged to work it if asked) is required to be paid during annual leave as a form of “normal remuneration”. This impliedly left voluntary overtime (where both the employer and employee are equally not obliged to offer or work overtime if they do not wish to arrange such) out of the holiday pay calculation.

However, this sense of security has been short lived. The fact that the question on voluntary overtime was left unanswered has naturally enticed a future tribunal to include voluntary overtime in the calculation of holiday pay under the Working Time Directive (WTD). This was always going to happen and really it was just a matter of when. 

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Non-Guaranteed Overtime to be included in Holiday Pay

Big happenings this week in the world of employment law in the form of Bear Scotland Ltd & others -v- Fulton & others. In this widely reported casethe Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) handed down a much anticipated decision as to whether holiday pay should be calculated to include remuneration beyond basic salary. It was held that this would be the case for the standard four-week annual leave entitlement but not for the additional 1.6 weeks under the UK’s Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR).

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