June 2016 inflation data

Consumer Prices Index inflation in the year to June 2016 stood at 0.5%. The figures are as follows:

Brexit fallout – employment law and immigration

As the UK has to give two years’ notice that it is leaving the EU then it is unlikely that anything will happen immediately. Many laws such as unfair dismissal, minimum wage, the right to strike and some family-friendly policies such as shared parental leave, have no European basis as they are ‘home grown’ laws. 

Long-term absence increasing and fit notes not delivering

Long-term absence is continuing to increase while, at the same time, the NHS is proving unable to support the working age population by providing timely and effective rehabilitation and medical treatment, according to the EEF Absence Survey. And there’s been a further fall in employers’ confidence in GPs to improve return-to-work rates with the effectiveness of the fit note system continuing to deteriorate.

Successful challenge to prohibition notice on basis of subsequent evidence

In assessing whether to uphold a prohibition notice, a tribunal had properly taken account of information which was not available at the time at the notice was served.
HM Inspector of Health and Safety v Chevron North Sea Ltd

Carers not that well cared for in the workplace

Just a third of employers have a formal, written policy or an informal, verbal policy in place to support carers at work, according to CIPD research. With an ageing population and the number of carers set to grow at an alarming rate over the coming years, the report warns that employers should be putting place mechanisms to empower and support working carers before they lose out on key talent.

HR and employment law news in brief

A round up of some HR and employment law-related stories - in addition to those already covered on the website - which have been making the news from 20 May to 2 June 2016.

Headscarf ban at work was not direct discrimination

An employer’s ban on staff wearing religious, political or philosophical symbols while on duty (in this instance an Islamic headscarf) was not direct discrimination. And even if it was, it could be justified as a ‘genuine and determining occupational requirement’, according to a preliminary opinion from the European Court of Justice.
Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions NV

Modern Slavery Act - A Supplier's Guide


  • Most people think that the Modern Slavery Act 2015 only applies to big companies – and it does, to some extent.
  • However, the Act is set to become the most far-reaching piece of legislation of 2016. Why? 
  • Because, contrary to popular belief, the new obligations that it places on large employers are designed to have a knock-on effect, resulting in most of the UK’s 5.4 million SMEs being caught by the legislation in some shape or form.
  • Marian Bloodworth, Employment Partner, and Elizabeth Marshall, Senior Associate, at Kemp Little LLP look behind the new disclosure requirements and explain what SMEs need to know about this new legislation.

Expectation/assumption that employee would work late was a PCP

An expectation or assumption that a disabled employee would work late amounted to a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) which triggered the duty to make reasonable adjustments. 
Carreras v United First Partners Research

Legal highs: new legislation in force

The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 is now in force. It criminalises the production, distribution, sale and supply of new psychoactive substances (NPS) – otherwise known as ‘legal highs’. Unlike other drug laws, the legislation doesn’t criminalise individual users and simple possession isn’t a criminal offence. But it’s likely that employers, particularly those involved in health and safety critical activities, will need to take a look at their current workplace drugs policies and update them accordingly.

Pay data: April 2016

Various research organisations have published data on average pay settlements for the three months to the end of April 2016 along with forecasts for the coming year.

Immigration update – May 2016

The Immigration Act 2016 is now on the statute book and it contains a number of important changes designed to clamp down on illegal working which will directly affect employer practice in this area. 
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Thursday, 04 August 2016

Let’s not be colour blind but colour brave

The aftermath of the Brexit referendum gave rise to a chain of racist and xenophobic incidents. The 57% increase in reports of hate crime following the vote reminds us that we must not become complacent in our continued efforts to achieve equality, inclusion and acceptance for all. Ethnicity and colour are among the most uncomfortable subjects for anyone, including those working in diversity and inclusion, to confront. This discomfort, however, should not and cannot allow us to shy away from discussing big subjects that have a profound impact on society at large and our workplaces. 

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