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    Employment Law & HR Roundup 13/08 – 19/08

    After a few months of employment law developments and high-profile cases, the previous week has been relatively calm.

    However, in the ever-changing world of employment and HR, there are always updates that employers should be aware of.

    In this week’s roundup, we’ll focus on a noteworthy discrimination claim, businesses who fail to provide the minimum wage, how getting rid of tribunal fees will affect claims and much more.


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    Employment 'first': time limit extended after fees ruled unlawful

    In one of the first instances of employment tribunals being affected by The Supreme Court’s ruling that fees are unlawful, a claimant successfully argued that time should be extended because they had to pay the fees.

    It was argued that the claimant, who brought claims for age and disability discrimination against Tesco, only had her first claim rejected because of her obligation to pay unlawful fees. It was decided that this justified an extension.

    Barrister Tom Kirk said, ‘This provides an early sign that tribunals may be willing to consider not only the unlawfulness of the fee regime, but the stifling effect it has had on some claimants’ ability to bring their claims within time.’

    Read more about this landmark case.


    National Minimum Wage: Workers win £2m compensation

    Businesses who failed to pay workers the national minimum wage are set to refund £2m in compensation.

    A list of 230 employers was released yesterday by the Government as part of what many are calling a ‘name and shame’ campaign.

    Following the revelations, Argos, the most recognisable business on the list, received both the largest fine and the most media scrutiny.
    Overall a total of 13,000 employees have – or will – receive compensation.

    Read more about the UK businesses ordered to pay compensation for failing to provide the minimum wage.



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    Four types of tribunal claim that will soar in the post-fee era

    Announced at the end of July, the Supreme Court Ruling that employment tribunal fees are unlawful sent shock waves through the legal sector.
    Responsible for a 70% decrease in employment tribunal claims since their introduction in 2013, the fees were seen by many as a striking barrier to justice for workers.

    Almost a month down the line from the decision, the ruling on employment tribunals is still making headlines and dominating opinion pieces in legal publications.

    But what does the decision actually mean for businesses?

    In this article, CIPD discuss the 4 types of tribunal claims that they expect to soar in the ‘post-fee’ era.


    All jobs should be flexible, the Equality and Human Rights Commission says

    In an attempt to tackle pay gaps affecting women, disabled people and ethnic minorities, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has proposed that all jobs should be flexible.

    The proposal is based around the idea that flexible working will remove barriers faced by women and disabled people who are more likely to accept lower paid and part-time jobs.

    The report, which sets out six recommendations for businesses aimed at increasing equality in earnings, stresses “Many companies fail to recognise they have a gender pay gap and therefore take no action to close it; others do not see it as a priority.”

    Read more about how flexible working could be used to tackle pay gaps.


    A third of businesses plan to hire more HR professionals

    A recent study has suggested that around one third of businesses plan to recruit more HR professionals in the next six months.

    Experts from the CIPD attribute the increasing importance businesses are placing on HR with the ‘changing economic and political environment’.

    With record high employment rates, increased awareness of issues that affect employee retention and ‘unprecedented levels of change and uncertainty’ businesses are turning more and more to HR professionals for advice.

    If you have concerns about your ability to tackle HR and employment law issues, our Employment Solicitors can help. Take a look at the Unlimited HR Support aspect of our Retain & Assure Scheme.

    Read more about the increasingly central role HR is playing in businesses in the UK.



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