In Brief: Important Updates from February 2019Posted in : Supplementary Articles NI on 4 March 2019
A number of useful articles and interesting case law reviews were added to the Legal Island Employment Law Hub throughout the month of February. Here is a quick recap of some of the recent developments within the employment law sphere:
Regulatory Matters for NI Employers
In the first instalment of our brand new video series in partnership with A&L Goodbody, Gareth Walls, partner and head of the Employment and Incentives team in Belfast, discusses regulatory matters for employers in Northern Ireland, particularly new entrants to the market with foreign direct investment.
£3,000 settlement for boy told to leave Curry’s PC World Store
A boy of mixed race, a minor, who was asked to leave a Curry’s PC World store in County Down has been paid £3,000 in settlement of his case alleging racial discrimination. The Equality Commission supported him in taking his case, which was settled by DSG Retail Limited, operators of Curry’s PC World, without admission of liability.
Code of Practice on Preventing Illegal Working - Civil Penalty Scheme for Employers
Illegal working often results in abusive and exploitative behaviour, the mistreatment of illegal migrant workers, tax evasion and illegal housing conditions. This Code of practice has been issued under section 19 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 to specify the factors to be considered by the Home Office in determining the amount of the civil penalty for employing an illegal worker. Separate guidance for employers sets out how to conduct right to work checks and how the Home Office administers the civil penalty scheme to prevent illegal working.
'Self-employment Plus' Contract ‘Muddying the Waters’ for Employment Status
Hermes have announced a deal offering 15,000 delivery drivers the opportunity to sign up to a new ‘self-employment plus’ contract. The contract would entitle them to holiday pay, union representation and guaranteed earnings above the National Living Wage. IPSE has, however, argued that Hermes drivers have never been self-employed, and that instead of creating ‘self-employed plus’ status, the company should simply give its couriers the full package of benefits they are entitled to. IPSE has warned that creating ‘self-employment plus’ status could further confuse the debate over employment status and distort understanding of what genuine self-employment is.
First Tuesday Q&A – February 2019
This month’s First Tuesday Q&A, concerns eligibility for statutory sick pay, time off for elective surgery, payment on suspension, and SARs that relate to disciplinary and grievance procedures.
Working With Pride: Businesses for Love Equality
Working with Pride have teamed up with Love Equality to help with the campaign for Marriage Equality in Northern Ireland. Leading businesses and employers across Northern Ireland have added their voices to the calls for equal marriage in Northern Ireland, including Legal Island.
Case Law Reviews
We reviewed a number of interesting cases this month. Click on the case titles below to read the full review article.
The Court of Appeal has upheld a UKEAT ruling that Asda shop workers, who are mostly female, can compare their role with higher paid warehouse staff, who are mostly male, in their claims for equal pay.
This is a CJEU case in which the Advocate General had to determine whether it is necessary for an employer to keep records of actual hours worked to fulfil its obligations under the Working Time Directive.
This case concerned an urgent application for an injunction to restrain an ex-employee from disclosing information obtained from and relating to his employment. The information was highly confidential in nature and was protected by express duties of confidence as outlined in his contract of employment.
The claimant in this case was awarded £60,000 compensation for automatic unfair dismissal and injury to feelings owing to a number of protected disclosures she had made, which in turn led to a number of detriments, all of which had a serious effect on her emotional state.
In this case the claimant, a bisexual prison officer, suffered a campaign of direct discrimination and harassment on the basis of his sexuality or perceived sexuality throughout his period of employment. The campaign was particularly cruel – he was regularly called derogatory names, such as, ‘poof’, ‘gay’ and ‘vermin’. He was slapped, pushed, and sprayed with water. His bag was coloured in pink, a pink ‘fairy’ cake was smeared inside his bag, and fingernails were dug into his face by colleagues.
The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.