Legal round-up

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Last Modified  10 August 2017
August: Supreme Court decides tribunal fees are unlawful
In a surprise decision, the UK’s highest court has overruled government policy on tribunal fees and quashed the 2013 regulations, thereby raising the prospect of a rise in claims. At the same time, the government-commissioned Taylor report has suggested ways to shape employment law for the future  
Last Modified  13 July 2017
July: Getting to grips with new data protection law
The General Data Protection Regulation will alter the way employers approach automated decision making in recruitment, respond to subject access requests, and obtain consent from employees to their personal data being processed. Victoria Albon, an employment associate at law firm Dentons, explains what those changes are and suggests how HR professionals might deal with them  
Last Modified  23 June 2017
June: Psychometric testing challenge by Asperger’s job candidate
Recent case law has confirmed that employers should take a flexible approach to testing disabled job candidates. Other cases this month dealt with NHS whistleblowing, statutory union recognition and calculating the correct amount of pay to deduct from teachers on strike  
Last Modified  08 May 2017
May: The Supreme Court restores the balance in indirect discrimination case law
Case law this month underlines the continuing need for employers to have fair and effective policies and procedures, and demonstrates how these can help defend claims, while challenges involving Tupe and the minimum wage show these rules may need tweaking to make them fully fit for purpose  
Last Modified  13 April 2017
April: Important employment law changes, and why gender pay reporting may just be the start of corporate governance reforms
Whether grappling with new minimum wage and statutory pay rates, preparing statements on why men and women appear to be not equally remunerated in their organisations, or keeping an eye on future corporate reporting developments, this spring has plenty to keep HR professionals fully occupied  
Last Modified  06 March 2017
March: Maternity and tribunal compensation rates rises, zero hours hit the headlines again, and the Court of Appeal considers employment status
With the new tax year on the horizon, the government has announced increases to statutory rates, tribunal award caps, and NI thresholds. And in the courts, a self-employed plumber has been found to be a worker, and the Lock holiday pay case is returned to an employment tribunal.  
Last Modified  07 February 2017
February: Tribunals – important cases for this year, latest decisions and proposed changes to the remission of fees
The focus is on tribunals right now, both in terms of cases due to be heard this year and because the government’s review of the introduction of fees is finally out. While the fees look set to stay, lawyers advise employers to make sure their procedures are not exposing them to claims in the future.  
Last Modified  31 January 2017
January: Public services strike ballot rules, and private sector gender pay reporting requirements
Regulations have been published for gender pay gap reporting and balloting, minimum wage increases are announced and, in case law, a works party led to an employee being injured.  
Last Modified  12 December 2016
December: Politicians say "Brexit means Brexit" – but what does it really mean for employers?
It is far from clear what employment law will look like in the future, but it is possible to predict which rules might come under scrutiny first in a post-Brexit UK. Guest contributor Sharon Tan reports  
Last Modified  11 November 2016
November: Uber drivers win workers’ rights, Asda staff claim equal pay, and a Network Rail employee wins shared parental pay discrimination case
The 'gig economy' is increasingly under the spotlight, as taxi app Uber is challenged in a tribunal over its drivers' employment status, HMRC is told to pursue the underpayment of tax and national insurance where there are doubts about self-employment status, and two enquiries are launched in to how workers are coping with greater job insecurity  
Last Modified  07 October 2016
October: Annual increases to the NMW, latest case law, and handling anti-slavery statements
The cost of employing younger workers has risen this month, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has decided that employers’ reasonable adjustments obligations towards disabled employees may include ring-fencing the salaries of those having to take on a lesser role, and the Court of Appeal has reached a decision on the holiday pay case, British Gas Trading v Lock  
Last Modified  30 September 2016
September: Consultation on extending mandatory gender pay gap reporting to larger public sector employers
Research has confirmed the size of the gender pay gap between men and women, and Theresa May’s new government has issued a consultation on how new equality reporting rules will be rolled out to larger public sector employers.  
Last Modified  10 August 2016
August: Banning the wearing of the hijab at work continues to cause legal wrangles at a European level
While Brexit’s effect on case law in the long term is uncertain, for the next two years European court decision will still be followed by UK courts  
Last Modified  04 July 2016
July: How will employment law change following the UK’s exit from the European Union?
While it is not yet clear exactly what the 'leave' vote means for UK organisations, it is possible to identify those aspects of employment law most likely to be affected.  
Last Modified  07 June 2016
June: How HR can become more digitally savvy
Continually evolving technology offers employers the chance to connect their employees, their customers and their business faster and more efficiently – but it also raises legal and management issues that HR needs to address in order to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks. Marian Bloodworth and Anna Byford report  
Last Modified  10 May 2016
May: Latest cases on religious discrimination, restrictive covenants, staff handbooks, and employment status
Legal pointers on drawing the line between religious fervour and workplace harassment, keeping up to date on employee ‘non-compete’ clauses, preventing policies from becoming contract terms, and staying the right side of the law on whether workers are self-employed  
Last Modified  05 April 2016
April: New living and minimum wage rates, tribunal compensation limits, statutory pay rates and the latest case law
Law experts advise that employers trying to dodge the effects of the National Living Wage could face stiff penalties and, in case law, a Supreme Court decision reminds employers they are responsible for employees’ actions at work, however extreme that behaviour may be.  
Last Modified  07 March 2016
March: Gender pay gap, holidays – and shopping
The holiday pay legal saga looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. But in the meantime, employers need to be looking at pay systems in preparation for mandatory gender pay reporting, and the struggling retail sector gets some help with trading hours.  
Last Modified  18 February 2016
February: ‘Snooping’ on employees’ messages
A Romanian case on Yahoo messaging at work prompts a flurry of press reports, constructive dismissal is tested in the EAT, and an adverse verbal reference leads to successful disability discrimination claims against both former and prospective employers  
Last Modified  13 January 2016
January: Landmark cases for HR in 2016
The following cases are due to be considered by the UK courts and at a European level during 2016. They deal with current HR issues such as calculating holiday pay correctly, religious dress and discrimination at work, whistleblowing and unfair dismissal claims, the transfer regulations, collective redundancy consultation requirements, and the introduction of tribunal fees.