Employment Law – Update

Employment law is always changing and keeping track of it is a difficult task for employers and HR managers across the UK. Here are some important changes from 2018:

Brown & Another v Neon Management & Another

The High Court held that resigning but working through a lengthy notice period can mean an employee affirms any initial breach of contract.

In this case, the claimants resigned in response to breaches of their contracts of employment but did so on 6 and 12 months’ notice. This notice period was considered so lengthy that the claimants had affirmed their contracts, not being able to rely on the initial breach.

Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake and Shannon v Rampersad 

In this case, the Court of Appeal held that carers who are required to sleep-in at work are not entitled to the national minimum wage whilst they are asleep.

This significant decision overturns the previous Employment Appeals Tribunal decision and affects a wide range of workers who are required to be ‘available for work’ during the night.

The Court of Appeal held that only time spent awake and working should be included in the calculation of national minimum wage entitlements, even if the employer provides facilities for sleeping.

Flowers v East of England Ambulance Trust

This case related to holiday pay and voluntary overtime.

In line with the Employment Appeals Tribunal decision in Dudley MBC v Willetts and Others, the Tribunal confirmed that voluntary overtime can qualify as ‘normal remuneration’ for the purposes of calculating holiday pay under the Working Time Directive, provided it is paid over a sufficient period of time on a regular and/or recurring basis to be described as ‘normal’.

Taxation of termination payments

Whether or not a payment in lieu of notice is taxable has traditionally been dependent on the terms of the employee’s contract.

From 6 April 2018, all payments in lieu of notice, whether contractual or not, are taxable and the £30,000 exemption does not apply to any payments in lieu of notice. The change affects payments made on or after 6 April 2018 in relation to terminations that take place on or after that date.

Summary

Employment law is always evolving and there are always changes that employers need to be aware of, such as the calculation of holiday pay, commissions and overtime. There is, for example, new legislation before Parliament to effect changes about the information provided by employers in payslips. Should you have any queries about employment law, we advise employers and employees on a wide range of matters. Please get in touch with us today on 0203 146 3549 / [email protected]

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