Employment Law News - February 2017
Natalie Ruane reports on the latest Government announcements on employment law in February 2017.
Trade Union Act brought into force
Statutory instruments have been passed to bring the Trade Union Act 2016 into force on 1 March 2017. This Act prevents industrial action being protected by law unless there has been a ballot turnout of voters of at least 50%.
In health, education, transport, border security and fire industry sectors, an additional 40% of eligible members is required for industrial action to be legal.
More caselaw on employee status
In Pimlico Plumbers and Charlie Mullins v Gary Smith the Court of Appeal has upheld the decision that plumbers employed by Pimlico were workers and not self-employed independent contractors. The Court commented that "the operatives are intended to appear to clients of the business as working for the business, but at the same time the business itself seeks to maintain …….. a relationship of ………….. independent contractor ……"
Rise in the National Living Wage and NMW
The national living wage for those aged 25 and over is increasing from £7.20 to £7.50 per hour on 1 April 2017.
From 1 April the hourly rate for 21 to 24 year olds also rises to £7.05 per hour, for 18 to 20 year olds to £5.60 per hour, for under 18’s to £4.05 per hour and for apprentices aged 19 or over or in their first year of their apprenticeship a rise to £3.50.
Public Sector Exit Payments
As of 1 February 2017, the Secretary of State can issue regulations capping public sector exit payments to £95,000. This amount would include pay in lieu of notice, notice pay, ex-gratia payments and redundancy pay.
Type 2 Diabetes – a disability?
The answer was yes as decided by the Employment Appeal Tribunal last month in Taylor v Ladbrokes. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition and so would amount to a disability even if it was controlled by medication and "lifestyle changes" at the time of any discrimination and so was not having a substantial adverse effect on the ability to carry out day-to-day activities at that time.
For further information about employment law changes taking place in 2017 please contact Natalie Ruane, Joint Head of the Employment and HR team.
About the author
Natalie is a Partner and leads the Employment Law & HR team and specialises in education.