Women’s rights groups have expressed concerns that Brexit could roll back decades of meaningful advances for working women. The Fawcett Society and more than a dozen other women’s groups and political parties are calling for an amendment to the Repeal Bill that would officially adopt the current EU-levels of employment rights and protections. Although Theresa May has promised to maintain women’s rights, including the length of paid maternity leave, exiting the EU opens the door for “a change of heart once the bulwark that EU law provides is gone”, said Michael Newman, a partner at Leigh Day. EU negotiators are also applying pressure, warning the UK that cutting worker protections would amount to “regulatory dumping”.

The Independent, Page: 36

Posted 15/07/2017

Employers who search out the social media profiles of jobseekers and employees have been warned that they are breaking data protection laws. The Information Commissioner’s Office and other national data watchdogs have declared that excessive monitoring of job applicants and employees on Facebook and Twitter could fall foul of privacy rules that limit how companies may process personal information. Regulators say any data collected must also be “relevant to the performance of the job”. According to the recruitment website CareerBuilder, 70% of employers use social media to check candidates, up from just 11% in 2006.

Financial Times, Page: 4   Independent I, Page: 49   The Daily Telegraph, Page: 9

Posted 14/07/2017

 

A father has successfully sued his employer for failing to give him full paternity leave rights. Madasar Ali, a call centre worker, was told by Capita that he would receive only two weeks of full pay, whereas women were entitled to 14 weeks. The tribunal ruled the policy flouted the 2010 Equality Act, plus regulations on shared parental leave from 2015. The case is the first to be won by a man in England under shared parental leave laws introduced two years ago. A hearing to decide on compensation for Mr Ali is set to take place in the near future, but Capita has said it would appeal against the judgment.

The Sun, Page: 22   The Daily Telegraph, Page: 12   The Times, Page: 21

Posted 12/06/2017

 

The advocate general of the European court of justice has advised that workers are entitled to paid leave and can claim compensation if they are not allowed to take their holidays. The decision relates to the claim by a UK window salesman, Mr King, against Sash Window Workshop Limited, seeking compensation from the company for holiday pay he had never received over a 13-year period.

The Guardian, Page: 9

Posted 09/06/2017

 

Citizens Advice has claimed that hundreds of thousands of people are missing out on the 28 days’ paid holiday to which all full-time workers are entitled. The charity said that some employers mistakenly, and illegally, told staff that they were not entitled to any paid holidays because they were on zero-hours contracts or could only have fewer days than they were due. It also found some firms had made paid holiday conditional on meeting targets, and had refused requests for paid leave by citing “business needs.” The most common example was treating people as self-employed when they were in effect a full-time employee, which Citizens Advice said could affect up to 460,000 workers. The charity wants the government to redefine self-employment in law and for employment tribunal fees to be reduced to £50 from their present range of £390 to £1,200.

The Times, Page: 9

Posted 08/05/2017

 

Managers at Deliveroo have been given a six-page document outlining how they should refer to couriers in a move seen by some as an attempt to fend off claims that they are employees. The guidance says couriers should be called “independent suppliers” rather than workers and senior staff should not refer to payslips or shifts, rather “invoices” and “availability”. The move comes as 20 riders for the company plan legal action over employment rights claiming they are employees and not, as the company argues, self-employed contractors. Leigh Day says it has a total of 200 Deliveroo riders lined up to take similar action. Meanwhile, the Work and Pensions Committee has ruled that Deliveroo, Uber and Amazon have been getting gig economy workers to sign “unintelligible” contracts that seem designed to stop them asserting their rights. Deliveroo asked workers to sign a contract promising never to go to court to dispute their self-employed status and accepting that if they did, the company would deduct any legal expenses incurred from compensation payouts.

The Guardian, Page: 1, 12   The Independent, Page: 13   The Times, Page: 35   The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 3   Daily Mail, Page: 10

Posted 06/04/2017

 

 

The final stage of Unison’s campaign against the fees needed to take a case to an employment tribunal goes to the Supreme Court today. The union has been taking legal action since the introduction of charges, ranging from £390 to £1,200, in 2013. The Union’s case will assert that the fees have stopped many thousands of badly treated employees, especially those on low incomes, from getting justice.

Independent i, Page: 41   Yorkshire Post, Page: 4

Posted 27/03/2017

 

A trainee nursery worker whose employment was terminated the day before she was due to give birth has won more than £6,000 at an industrial tribunal. A lawyer acting for the Wendyhouse Children’s Nursery said the P45 had been sent to Lauren Kemp in error, but the nursery was unable to account for the fact Ms Kemp had been informed of the P45 twice without the mistake being corrected.

The Herald, Page: 9

Posted 13/02/2017

 

Jo Swinson, the chair of Maternity Action and former MP, argues that the government must do more to tackle pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Around 70% of employers say women should declare if they are pregnant at job interview, she says, and a quarter think it is reasonable to ask whether female candidates plan to have a baby. “Lofty rhetoric about improving workplace rights, tackling the gender pay gap and getting more women in the boardroom is undermined by the ongoing scandal of pregnancy discrimination,” she concludes. Separately, director-general of the Institute of Economic Affairs Mark Littlewood writes in the Times that the gender pay gap, which he suggests only really kicks in past the age of 39, can best be explained as a “motherhood gap.” He warns against “assuming chauvinism on the part of employers and obliging them to produce reams of salary statistics in an attempt to prove otherwise.”

The Daily Telegraph   The Times, Page: 41

Posted 31/01/2017

Research for KPMG suggests one in five UK workers earn less than the living wage of £8.25 per hour, or £9.40 in London. Part-time workers were more likely to earn below the voluntary living wage, with 43% receiving an hourly wage which falls short of the basic cost of living, compared with one in seven full-time employees.

The Sun, Page: 2   The Guardian, Page: 19   Yorkshire Post, Page: 15   Daily Express, Page: 44

Posted 31/10/2016