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    Employment Law & HR Roundup 30/07 – 05/08

    It’s been another busy week in the world of employment law & HR. With the landmark Supreme Court decision on employment tribunal fees being hailed by the Wales TUC as ‘a massive win for working people’ access to justice has been a central topic of discussion.

    As well as concentrating on the recent ruling on employment tribunal fees, we’ll look at holiday pay, employee retention, 6 key employment law decisions in 2017 and age discrimination.

    Employment tribunal fees unlawful, Supreme Court rules

    In order to cut the number of employment tribunal claims deemed malicious or weak, the government introduced fees of up to £1,200 in 2013.

    However, the impact of the fees was much larger than was expected and reportedly caused 79% fewer cases being brought to employment tribunals. The striking decline in the number of claims being brought to employment tribunals caused many to claim that the fees were preventing access to justice. The general secretary of trade union Unison, Dave Prentis said, ‘The government has been acting unlawfully, and has been proved wrong - not just on simple economics, but on constitutional law and basic fairness too.’

    In a landmark decision on the 26th of July, The Supreme Court ruled that these fees are unlawful. The government has also committed to reimbursing all fees if it was found they acted unlawfully.

    Read The Supreme Court’s ruling here, or the initial reaction from government officials and Union representatives here.


    Six important employment law cases in 2017

    As any Employment Solicitor or HR professional will tell you, the world of employment law is varied and changeable.

    As we’ve seen in the articles above with the decisions on both Employment Tribunal fees and the incorporation of voluntary overtime into holiday pay, crucial developments often happen so quickly that it can be difficult for employers to keep up.

    In the following article by Personnel Today, six of the most significant employment law decisions of the year are examined and their potential impact on employers explained. From the aforementioned challenge to employment tribunal fees to noteworthy decisions on religious dress in the workplace, read about the most important employment law cases in 2017.



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    One third of UK employees expect to leave their job in next two years

    Staff retention and the effect it can have on businesses is one of the most talked about subjects in the world of HR.

    Whilst a moderate level of employee turnover can be positive for businesses - bringing in new ideas and approaches – organisations must have processes in place to ensure that they retain high performers and do not allow high levels of turnover to effect employee moral or the reputation of the business.

    A recent report from Willis Towers Watson’s Global Workforce Study shows that 32% of UK employees say they are likely to leave their current employer in the next two years and cites salary as the number one motivation for leaving.

    Willis Towers Watson’s Tom Hellier says, ‘employers need to get savvier about what makes staff tick if they are to succeed in bringing the best people into their workforce and importantly go on to keep them in the business’.

    Read more about why a third of employees expect to leave their job in the next two years.


    Holiday pay: regular voluntary overtime included, says EAT

    With the weather unsurprisingly miserable in the UK, business owners and their employees alike will be using the summer holidays as an opportunity to get away for a week or two of sunshine. As an employer, you’ll know full well the benefits of allowing employees time to rest and your obligations over holiday pay.

    However, the recent case of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts and others, could well bring extra considerations into the equation when calculating your employee’s holiday pay.

    The ETA this week confirmed that payments for purely voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay if they are regular enough to constitute “normal pay”.

    Whilst cautioning that each case must be taken on its own facts, this case could well effect the way that employees who undertake regular voluntary overtime receive holiday pay.

    Read more about the inclusion of regular overtime in holiday pay and how it could affect your business.


    Surviving as an old in the tech world

    In 2015/16, 12,635 Age Discrimination claims were brought to employment tribunals in the UK. With so many businesses taking steps to improve gender, race and class diversity within their ranks, it seems as though age discrimination has (to the detriment of employees and employers alike) been overlooked.

    In this revealing article, Karen Wickre, an ex-Google and Twitter employee, shares her experiences working in some of the world’s largest and most influential tech companies as a woman in her mid to late 50s.
    As well as discussing her experiences as an older employee in a sector that prides itself on being forward-thinking, she suggests eight ways that employers can show their older employees more ‘TLC’ and make the most of their experiences and talent.

    Read about how you can avoid age discrimination claims and get the most out of your employees regardless of their age.



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