Employment Corner: Employment Updates for the Hotels, Hospitality & Leisure Sector (July 2023)

In each edition of Check-In we will explore the latest developments in Employment law and their importance to the Hotel, Hospitality & Leisure sector. In this edition, we will look at, among other topics:

  • The new Tips Act
  • Key employment considerations when restructuring
  • The long-awaited reforms to the UK Whistleblowing Framework
  • UK legal and case updates
  • The EU Whistleblowing Directive

The new Tips Act – what does this mean for your business?

This is the big news for hospitality employers in the UK. The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 received Royal Assent on 2 May 2023. In our article, we explore what the Act means for employers within the hotels, hospitality and leisure sector and what steps they should be taking.


UK feature articles

Restructuring – key employment considerations when reorganising against the clock

Headlines over recent months have been dominated by large scale, global restructuring processes. Many organisations within the hotels, hospitality and leisure sector are reorganising, restructuring or reducing their headcount, amongst other measures, in order to streamline operating costs and improve profitability in light of the prevailing economic headwinds.

In our article, we discuss some of the key considerations for employers when restructuring against the clock, including: (1) collective consultation obligations; (2) employee communications; and (3) what happens to employees in insolvency situations.

Read our full article here

Are the long-awaited reforms to the UK Whistleblowing Framework on the horizon?

The whistleblowing framework in the UK largely consists of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (“PIDA”). Although considered pioneering at the time, the prevailing view in recent years is that the 25-year-old PIDA and wider whistleblowing framework no longer reflect the modern workplace or international best practice.

Our article examines the UK whistleblowing framework as it stands, the reforms that are likely to occur following a recently announced government review, the effects of proposed changes on employers and how best to prepare for these.

Read our full article here


UK legal updates

There has been a spate of activity in recent months which has implications for the UK hotels, hospitality and leisure sector. The key changes are summarised below, and you can see our additional analysis on these here.

  • Latest report from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) – report excludes roles in hospitality sector from the shortage occupation list
  • Annual increase in Employment Tribunal compensation limits published – the caps for unfair dismissal compensation and a “week’s pay increased as of 6 April 2023
  • Private Members’ Bill on workers’ rights to request a predictable working pattern is in the House of Lords – proposed right would operate in a similar way to the current flexible working regime
  • New legislation to extend redundancy rights for employees on maternity leave receives Royal Assent – employers need to take steps to update policies in line with changes to the law
  • Second reading of First-Aid (Mental Health) Bill is delayed – Bill would require employers to provide mental health first aid training
  • New Vento bands from 6 April 2023 under Sixth Addendum to Presidential Guidance on injury to feelings awards – the guideline compensatory figures for injury to feelings awards in discrimination cases have been increased
  • ACAS launches guidance on reasonable adjustments for mental health at work – new publication provides additional guidance for employers and employees when dealing with reasonable adjustments for mental health-related issues
  • Consultation on reform of Working Time Regulations 1998 and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 – UK government launches new consultation on proposals to (i) reform record-keeping requirements and (ii) simplify annual leave and holiday pay calculations under the WTR and (ii) amend consultation requirements under TUPE, which closes on 7 July 2023
  • Non-compete clauses to be limited to three months – government response to consultation indicates it intends to impose a three-month limitation on non-compete clauses in the future, no draft legislation as yet published

UK case updates

There are several recent decisions which are likely to be of particular interest to employers in the hotels, hospitality and leisure sectors. Click here for further analysis of these cases.

Glover v Lacoste UK Ltd (2 February 2023)

In this indirect sex discrimination case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) held that the Respondent employer’s requirement for fully flexible shift working was a potentially discriminatory provision, criterion or practice (“PCP”) that applied to the Claimant employee even though she did not return to work under the relevant arrangement and even though the requirement was ultimately reversed.

McQueen v The General Optical Council [2023] EAT 36

In this case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) found that an Employment Tribunal (“ET”) was entitled to dismiss the Claimant’s claims of discrimination because of something arising from disability under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 (the “Act”) where the Claimant’s disabilities had no effect on the aggressive behaviours for which he was disciplined.

Morris v Lauren Richards Ltd [2023] EAT 19

In this case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) held that an Employment Tribunal (“ET”) erred in law when determining that an individual was not disabled under the Equality Act 2010 (the “Act”) by focusing on the likely impact of dismissal on the individual's anxiety when assessing whether the effect of the anxiety was long-term.


International know-how

The EU Whistleblowing Directive

The EU Whistleblowing Directive requires companies to put internal reporting channels in place where confidentiality of the whistleblower will be ensured. It also requires Member States to put external reporting channels in place. Member States must implement legislation obliging all companies with 50 or more workers to: (i) put in place appropriate reporting channels to enable those workers to report breaches of EU law; and (ii) ensure that those making whistleblowing reports are legally protected against retaliation for having done so. All processing of personal data in connection with whistleblower reports and investigations must be compliant with GDPR. A number of EU countries have now passed legislation to comply with the Directive.

Each Member State will implement the Directive in its own way and there will be local variations. That’s why we have created the following implementation tracker, which shows progress towards implementation and summarises some of the key aspects of the local implementing legislation and allows for comparison by topic.

For more information, see our resources available here.

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