Latest updates

Fragmentation of activity may preclude service provision change
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 26 September 2018

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has confirmed that when considering whether there has been a service provision change under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, a tribunal must identify the relevant activity. Further, the analysis must be conducted in the right order and any fragmentation should be considered when determining whether activities carried on by the subsequent service provider are fundamentally the same as those carried on by the outgoing service provider.

Workplace sexual harassment – Women and Equalities Committee urges radical reform
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 29 August 2018

The House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee has published a report on sexual harassment in the workplace highlighting five points on which it is calling on the government to take action. The committee's call to put sexual harassment at the top of the agenda for both the government and employers is timely, although it remains to be seen what effect the recommendations will have and whether specific legislative proposals will emerge in response.

Care workers are not entitled to minimum wage for 'sleep-in' shifts
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 22 August 2018

The Court of Appeal has decided that care workers carrying out so-called 'sleep-in' shifts are not entitled to the national minimum wage for the whole shift, but rather only when they are required to be awake and working. In so ruling, the court has overturned various earlier decisions of the Employment Appeal Tribunal and contradictory guidance from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, which would have exposed the care sector to claims for arrears of pay worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

Where might the government's Brexit white paper lead us?
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 15 August 2018

Although massively contentious, the government's white paper proposals on the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union post-Brexit add some flesh to the bones of what future interrelation between the two entities may look like. But what are the key points for employment lawyers?

EU (Withdrawal) Act – what does it mean for employment?
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 01 August 2018

The EU Withdrawal Bill has received royal assent and become the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018. As a result of the act, it is now law that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union at 11:00pm on 29 March 2019, with the European Communities Act 1972 being repealed. Only fresh legislation could delay or overturn the United Kingdom's departure. What does this mean from an employment law perspective?

High Court dismisses Pimlico Plumbers challenge to Deliveroo contract
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 25 July 2018

In the latest development regarding worker status and the gig economy, and applying the recent Supreme Court decision in Pimlico Plumbers, the High Court has rejected the Independent Workers of Great Britain trade union application for a judicial review of the Central Arbitration Committee's decision that Deliveroo riders are not workers based on the terms of Deliveroo's substitution clause.

Too hot to handle? What employers should know about a heatwave
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 18 July 2018

Over the past few months, the United Kingdom has gone from shivering in sub-zero temperatures to experiencing one of the hottest summers on record. Although the sun may be more welcome than the snow, it can still cause headaches for employers. As such, there are a number of factors that they should keep in mind when the mercury starts rising.

Supreme Court confirms Pimlico Plumbers are workers
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 11 July 2018

In the latest major development in a series of cases on employment status, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Pimlico Plumbers and confirmed that a self-employed plumber should have been classed as a worker. In a unanimous judgment, the court upheld the previous decisions, ruling that the employment tribunal had been entitled to find that the plumber was a worker and that he was in employment for the purposes of protection from discrimination.

CEO pay ratio reporting coming soon
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 04 July 2018

The government intends to introduce legislation that requires all UK-listed companies with more than 250 employees in the United Kingdom to report annually on the difference in pay between their chief executive officer and their average UK worker. However, compiling the data required to produce the reports will be another headache for overstretched legal, human resources and payroll teams.

New IR35 rules coming to the private sector
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 27 June 2018

The government has launched a consultation to tackle non-compliance with the IR35 regime in the private sector. If the main proposal is implemented, businesses engaging individuals who supply their services via their own company or partnership (intermediary) will be responsible for determining whether the IR35 rules apply. If so, the party paying the intermediary will be responsible for operating pay-as-you-earn tax and national insurance contributions on the fees that it pays to the intermediary.

Appeal judgment confirms Addison Lee cycle couriers are workers
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 06 June 2018

In the latest decision on employment status in the gig economy, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has dismissed Addison Lee's appeal against an employment tribunal decision that its cycle couriers were workers and therefore entitled to holiday pay. The EAT upheld the tribunal's findings that the established practice and expectation of both parties was that the couriers would carry out work as directed, which was sufficient to prove that they were workers under the legal test.

Failing to enhance pay for shared parental leave may be indirect sex discrimination
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 23 May 2018

The Employment Appeal Tribunal recently indicated that enhancing maternity pay, but not pay for shared parental leave, may give rise to indirect sex discrimination claims by fathers. Indirect discrimination was always expected to prove a much greater challenge to employers paying different rates of pay to women on maternity leave and parents taking shared parental leave. Unfortunately, the tribunal's decision has not resolved this issue.

EHRC gets tough on enforcing gender pay gap reporting
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 16 May 2018

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is adopting a rigorous approach to the enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting regime. It recently confirmed in a Freedom of Information Act request that it has sent 1,456 letters to employers that it believes have failed to comply with the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 and indicated that it will be investigating every company that has failed to comply.

HMRC publishes guidance on new PILON tax rules, but uncertainty remains
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 09 May 2018

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has published guidance on the new rules that require income tax and national insurance contributions to be paid on all payments in lieu of notice from April 6 2018. While the guidance had been eagerly awaited, given the uncertainty over how the rules will operate in practice, a number of questions remain unanswered.

Failure to pay father full pay for shared parental leave is not sex discrimination
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 02 May 2018

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has decided that failure to pay a father his full salary during shared parental leave does not constitute sex discrimination in circumstances where a mother taking maternity leave during the same period would have received full pay. The tribunal held that a woman on maternity leave and a man taking shared parental leave are not in comparable circumstances. Further, the Equality Act allows special treatment to be given to women in connection with pregnancy or childbirth.

New tax rules for payments in lieu of notice
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 28 March 2018

New tax rules will mean that income tax and national insurance contributions must be paid on all payments in lieu of notice from April 6 2018. However, the new rules are complex and although Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has confirmed that it will soon issue guidance on how they operate in practice, further details published recently have only added to the confusion.

When to pay interns
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 March 2018

Media outlets have reported that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has initiated a crackdown on unpaid internships, including sending letters warning that workers must be paid the national minimum wage and setting up teams to tackle the problem. Organisations that fail to pay the minimum wage to interns who are workers may be penalised and the individuals could bring claims for back pay.

Government response to Taylor review – a damp squib?
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 14 March 2018

The government has published its Good Work Plan in response to Matthew Taylor's review of modern working practices. While the response sets out the government's intention to proceed with nearly all of the review's recommendations, it lacks specific proposals and much of the detail will be subject to further consultation. Acknowledging that employment status in particular is a complex area, the government has put forward no firm proposals.

Making a termination payment after April 5 2018
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 07 March 2018

Income tax and national insurance contributions must be paid on all payments in lieu of notice from April 6 2018. The new rules emerged from a government consultation on the simplification of the tax treatment of termination payments. However, far from simplifying their taxation, the rules impose a complex administrative burden on employers and are likely to increase the costs to both employers and employees.

Further clarity on relevance of TUPE following share sale
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 28 February 2018

How relevant are the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) in the context of a share sale? A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal decision provides a reminder that TUPE can easily come into play when a buyer is considering what to do with its newly acquired subsidiary. In this case, the buyer's actions led to an unexpected TUPE transfer and a £3.5 million bill.

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