Charlotte Davies

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New year, new focus – what to expect in employment law in 2019

Employment / 02 January 2019

With Christmas over and the new year upon us, in this edition of employmentlaw@work, we focus on some of the key employment law developments that you can expect to see in 2019.

Brexit – the House of Commons vote on the withdrawal agreement is fast approaching in the week beginning 14 January.  Whether the UK will leave with an agreement or not remains to be seen, along with what we can expect in the aftermath – but what we do know is that the deadline for the UK’s exit from the EU on 29 March is looming.  In the short term, the government has made assurances that no employment laws based on EU legislation will be repealed.

Employment status and the gig economy  following the Government’s ‘Good Work Plan’ published in December 2018 (see further here), we await details of the proposals designed to improve protection for agency workers and atypical workers.  In particular, we await the Government’s views on how employment legislation should be updated to reflect modern-day approaches to the employment status tests.  We may also see an appeal by Uber against the recent Court of Appeal decision, which ruled that their drivers were ‘workers’ rather than self-employed contractors.

Executive pay gap reporting – from 1 January 2019, quoted companies with more than 250 employees will need to start preparing to report annually (from 2020) on the pay ratio between their CEO and their employees.

National Minimum Wage (“NMW”) and National Living Wage (“NLW”) – the rates of NMW and NLW will be increased from 1 April 2019.  Also, in Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake, Unison have sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in relation to a Court of Appeal decision that individuals who work sleep in shifts are not entitled to NMW for the whole of the sleep in shift.

Pay slip changes – from 6 April 2019, the right to an itemised pay slip will be extended to all workers, not just employees.

Ethnicity pay gap reporting – the Government’s consultation into mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting closes on 11 January 2019 and we await the response.

Whistleblowing – the Supreme Court is due to hear the appeal in Royal Mail Group Ltd v Jhuti in which the Court of Appeal held that an employee was not automatically unfairly dismissed for making protected disclosures to her line manager because the person who took the decision to dismiss her was unaware of those disclosures.

Cross border immigration – following the Government’s recent White Paper on post-Brexit immigration, we may see a further outline of the plans for a new skills-based immigration system.

Equal pay – we are awaiting the Court of Appeal’s decision in Asda Stores Ltd v Brierley and others, in which the EAT previously held that a group of female supermarket employees can compare themselves with a group of male distribution depot employees for the purposes of a “work of equal value” equal pay claim.

Holiday pay – permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal has been sought in the case of Flowers and others v East of England Ambulance Trust.  The Court will decide whether non-guaranteed and voluntary overtime should be included in the calculation of holiday pay.

You can hear about many of these developments, and more, at our upcoming Big Issues event held in London, Cambridge and Peterborough.  Please contact for more information on how to book a place.

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