Eurozone inflation: March 2014

Inflation in the Eurozone fell to 0.5% in March 2014, the lowest rate in more than four years.

Zero-hours contracts: don’t use them says Parliamentary report

In the ‘majority of cases’, zero hours contracts (ZHCs) shouldn’t be used at all, according to the interim report into their use by the Scottish Affairs Committee.

Just what IS included in holiday pay?

More light may, just may, be shed on this seemingly straightforward issue later this year with the EAT due to hear appeals in two cases concerning whether payments in respect of non-guaranteed overtime have to be included in the calculation of statutory holiday pay.

March 2014 inflation data

UK Consumer Prices Index inflation fell in the year to March 2014 to 1.6%. The detailed figures are as follows:

Responding to questions about discrimination

A new, more informal approach now applies when employers are asked questions about whether they’ve discriminated against someone. Gone is the old statutory discrimination questionnaire procedure and in its place is a non-legislative approach, the details of which are contained in ACAS guidance (see LawTracker for further details). Will this, as the government claims, reduce the burden on employers? Probably not, for the reasons discussed below. Also outlined is a suggested series of steps employers might take when dealing with such requests under the new regime.

Preventing illegal working and avoiding discrimination

For employers keen to avoid hiring illegal workers – and avoid any taint of discriminatory practices – a new draft code of practice from the Home Office will be essential reading.

April 2014 HR law changes

Changes in the HR and employment law area tend to be brought into force in April and October, what are called common commencement days - though this isn’t always the case (see for example the extension of the right to request flexible working which comes into force on 30 June). Here’s a quick-reference summary of the changes to employment/HR law, statutory rates and awards that take place in April:

Non-compete clause restriction upheld despite drafting error

An employer has been granted an injunction to enforce a 12-month non-compete restrictive covenant which, if read literally, offered it no protection at all.
Prophet plc v Huggett

When discretionary redundancy payments become contractual

A consistent practice of calculating redundancy payments without applying the statutory caps converted into an implied contractual right for future practice upon which employees could rely.
Peacock Stores v Peregrine

Subject access requests: an update

The Information Commissioner has reissued its code of practice on subject access requests (SARs) first published in August 2013.

Human capital trends

Developing effective leadership is the number one priority for most UK organisations in 2014, followed by reskilling the HR function, retention and engagement, global HR and talent management and talent analytics, according to Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2014.

Withdrawal of flexible working arrangements was sex discrimination

An employer discriminated against a female employee by revoking her part-time working agreement.
Solicitors Regulation Authority v Mitchell
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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Do the benefits of BYOD technology outweigh the risks for businesses?

The significant rise of smartphone sales has led to a similar increase in employers allowing staff to choose their own smartphones for work and home use and this has opened up a new area of risk. Some employers may not be aware that formal policies and guidance on mobile phone usage are necessary, and that these may need to be reviewed in the light of such schemes. 

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