Frontline: UK Employment Law Update May 2017

Welcome to the May edition of Frontline. In light of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will come into force in May 2018, we’ve teamed up with our Data Protection team to assess the implications facing our clients. Associate, Heledd Lloyd-Jones discusses the impact the GDPR will have on employment law and provides her top recommendations in respect of processing employee data and dealing with Subject Access Requests.

In our Case Summary we look at a pro-employer High Court ruling enforcing the validity of a 6-month non-compete post-termination restriction; an Employment Appeal Tribunal decision upholding a finding of indirect discrimination in relation to a multiple choice recruitment test; an Employment Tribunal case in which the Claimant was awarded only £2 compensation after his right to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing was breached; and the question that was faced by the Employment Appeal Tribunal – are employees entitled to be paid whilst sleeping on the job?

Our Legal Updates include the Work and Pensions Committee's report on the gig economy and the Government's recently published response to the House of Commons Petitions Committee and Women and Equalities Committee report on high heels and workplace dress codes, which was originally published on 25 January 2017.

We also bring you a Tax law update in respect of the Criminal Finances Bill 2016-17 and provide you with details of our upcoming Annual Employment Law Update on 28 June 2017.

General Data Protection Regulation: 'some considerations for employers'

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be implemented by May 2018 and will have a significant impact on how businesses manage the personal data of their employees. We have assessed a number of the implications for our clients from an employment law perspective.

Click here for our top recommendations on how to get ahead of the game.

Case Updates

Six to twelve months non-compete clause "not excessive" for broking industry

Tradition Financial Services v (1) Gamberoni (2) Spectron Services Limited (3) Marex Spectron Group Limited [2017] EWHC 768 (QB)

The High Court has held that a post-termination clause restricting a junior broker from working for a competitor for six months was valid even if the Claimant had already been placed on garden leave for the preceding three months.


Multiple choice recruitment test is discriminatory

The Government Legal Service v Brookes UKEAT/0302/16

The EAT has upheld the ET's decision that an employer indirectly discriminated against a job applicant with Asperger's syndrome by failing to make reasonable adjustments to a multiple choice test during the employer's recruitment process.


Right to be accompanied worth £2

Gnahoua v Abellio London Ltd (2303661/2015)

A claimant was awarded only £2 in compensation after his employer denied him the right to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing. The Employment Tribunal held that he did not suffer a detriment in being denied a companion at his disciplinary, despite the fact that his rights were breached by his employer's stance.


Sleeping whilst on the job: are employees entitled to be paid?

Focus Care Agency v Roberts UKEAT/0143/16; Frudd and another v The Partington Group Ltd UKEAT/0244/16; Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake UKEAT/0290/16, 21 April 2017

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has concluded that a multifactorial approach is required when deciding whether employees who are on-call or carrying out sleep-in shifts are engaged in "time work" for the duration of the shift, or whether they are only entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) when they are awake and carrying out their relevant duties.


Legal Updates

Work and Pensions Committee publishes report on gig economy

On 3 May 2017, the Work and Pensions Committee published a report making a number of recommendations to address the growth of self-employed workers in the gig economy.

The report seeks to raise awareness around "bogus" practices, such as the labelling of workers as self-employed to deny rights that come with employee status, which are creating a burden on the welfare state; and introduces a proposal that individuals are workers, not self-employed, to put the onus on companies to provide basic safety net standards of rights and benefits to their workers.

Government responds to report on workplace dress codes

The Government published its response on 20 April 2017 to the House of Commons Petitions Committee and Women and Equalities Committee report on high heels and workplace dress codes which was originally published on 25 January 2017.

The Government has chosen to reject recommendations which require legislative change in favour of developing guidance and raising awareness of the issue to combat against 'sexist, unacceptable and potentially unlawful' employment practices.

Upcoming Events

Save the Date: Annual Employment Law Update, Wednesday 28 June 2017, 16:00 - 19:30pm

Members of our UK team will be hosting our Annual Employment Law update at our London offices on 28 June 2017. The afternoon event will provide an overview of some of the key developments and trends in the employment law world of 2017 thus far, as well as looking forward to some of the upcoming changes for the year ahead. Our speakers will provide expert evaluation on the implications of these updates and hot topics for both employers and employees, as well as considering the wider commercial effects they may have.

The session will also include an update on Brexit, particularly in light of the outcome of the forthcoming General Election, and will end with an interactive Q&A panel discussion where our speakers will discuss any burning questions or concerns from the audience. Networking drinks will follow.

Keep an eye on your inbox for the formal invitation or register your interest in advance here.

Tax Update

Criminal Finances Bill 2016/17 - Will your organisation find itself committing a crime for failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion?

The Criminal Finances Bill recently received Royal Assent in the UK at the end of April. One particular measure contained within the Bill was the new corporate criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. Based on the UK Bribery Act 2010 section 7 offence, it will hold a corporate criminally liable by way of strict liability, for the actions of its associated persons (which includes employees, subcontractors, agents and others acting for or on behalf of the corporate) who criminally facilitate tax evasion. This is not just for UK entities, it has extra-territoriality. For any entities incorporated in the UK it covers the facilitation of tax evasion anywhere in the world, and for those based outside the UK it will cover the facilitation of UK tax evasion. In similar terms to the Bribery Act 2010, there is a statutory defence of having reasonable preventative measures in place. Our Tax Disputes practice has been working with clients to ensure they are compliant for day one (this is likely to be 1 September 2017).

Click here to find out more about the offence and what you need to do as a minimum to protect yourself before 1 September 2017.

Latest insights

More Insights
Curiosity line yellow background

Generative AI in retail: Opportunities, Risks and Regulation in Australia

May 30 2024

Read More
City skyline at dusk

From traditional wisdom to global innovation: a fairer future with the WIPO traditional knowledge treaty

May 29 2024

Read More
Yellow curiosity line

BAN on the export of waste for disposal from 2026

May 29 2024

Read More

Related capabilities