Employment Tribunal Guidance for Employers

The Employment Tribunals (ET) are an independent judicial body established to resolve disputes over employment rights between employers and employees. Claims likely to be heard in the ET will involve matters on unfair dismissal, discrimination, wages and redundancy payments.

In July 2017, the Supreme Court unanimously held that ET fees were unlawful and must be quashed. In September 2018, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) published tribunal statistics for April-June 2018 and across the boards the numbers are up!
Key figures include:

• Number of single claims lodged increased by 165% compared with the same quarter last year.
• The number of single claims outstanding rose by 130% compared with the same quarter last year.
• There have been 12,400 fee refund payments made since the fee refund scheme was introduced, totalling just over £10m.
• Disability discrimination cases had the largest average award (£30,700). Religious discrimination claims had the lowest average award (£5,100). The average award for unfair dismissal awards was £15,007.

If you are an employer and you have received an ET claim, it is crucial you act quickly and carefully to place yourself in the best position to defend the claim, or to reach a fair settlement agreement with the employee. At Employment Law Services (ELS), we have set out 5 top tips that should be applied when responding to a claim.

(1) Address the claim immediately

A tribunal claim is not something that should be set aside to deal with at a later date. Employers should have procedures in place to make sure that, when an ET1 is received, it is immediately brought to the attention of the appropriate people.
An employer should then make the decision on who is going to have the responsibility for dealing with the claim and begin working on the response.

An employer’s response should arrive at the ET office, on the appropriate form (an ET3), within 28 days of the date on which the claim was sent out.

(2) Evaluate the merits of the claim

Employees cannot submit an ET claim unless they have contacted the ACAS early conciliation service in the first instance. If both parties have gone through this process, the employer will probably already have knowledge of the employee’s complaint and had the opportunity to process its merits.

In this event, the employer should carefully carry out an assessment of the employee’s complaint and what defence they may have and then decide whether to fight the case or not.

Sometimes, employers discover that a settlement agreement is the less expensive option when weighing the costs of defending an ET claim. Settlement agreements are legally binding contracts which can be used to end an employment relationship on agreed terms. Once this document has been signed, the employee won’t be able to make an ET claim about any type of claim which is listed on the agreement.

(3) Focus on the issues relevant to the case

When responding to an ET complaint, it is crucial that employers focus on the employees specified allegations and any legal issues that may surround this. An employer’s response should be carefully drafted in as much detail as possible as they may not get the opportunity to introduce more information at a later date.

(4) Pay attention to detail

Whoever is in charge of drafting the ET3 must ensure that there are no inconsistencies and that all statements are factual and supported by the correct evidence.

(5) Submit the ET3 on time

An employer’s response form (ET3) should be submitted within 28 days of receiving the claim. This form can be submitted by using the online submission tool or returning the paper form.

The main thing to remember here is to ensure the tribunal office receive the form before the deadline, the form should not be sent on the 28th day. Employers may have the opportunity to apply for an extension, but this will be permitted at the judge’s discretion.

Fixed Fee ET work

Defending Employment Tribunal claims, or threats of a claim can be costly, but it doesn’t need to be. with Employment Law Services (ELS)’ Fixed Fee Employment Tribunal Representation offering, employers can save time and money. We understand how expensive, stressful, time consuming and distracting defending an Employment Tribunal Claim can be, even before the case ever reaches the hearing stage.

Negotiating the employment tribunal rules & procedures can be confusing & difficult but it doesn’t need to be. With our Fixed Fee Employment Tribunal Representation offering, employers can save time and money.

We believe this approach helps you control costs, minimise stress and wasted time and management resources, allowing you to continue to focus on your core business.

If you are faced with an Employment Tribunal claim, or threat of an Employment Tribunal Claim, Employment Law Services (ELS) can help. If you are an employer who requires assistance with any of the issues raised in this blog contact us today for your free consultation 0370 218 5662.

Parental Bereavement Bill receives Royal Assent

The new Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 sets out that parents who suffer the death of a child under the age of 18 or a still birth from 24 weeks of pregnancy will be entitled to two weeks paid leave. It is expected that these new rights will be incorporated into the Employment Rights Act 1996 in 2020.

At present, most employees have the statutory right to a “reasonable” amount of unpaid time off under the Employment Rights Act, this is to allow them to deal with unforeseen matters or emergencies that involve a dependant.

The death of a child can have a severe impact on a parents’ physical and emotional wellbeing. Therefore, it is crucial that employers manage this difficult time carefully and see that the employee successfully returns to work in the future.

In 2016, a survey conducted by the charity, Child Bereavement UK disclosed that less than one third of British adults who were employed at the time of their loss said they felt supported by their employer. This figure highlights the need for improvement in this area.

New legislation

This Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 initially started off as a Private Members Bill, however, it has always been supported by the Government; who expressed: “This law makes parental bereavement leave a legal right for the first time in the UKs history. Losing a child is an unimaginable trauma. I am delighted we have reached this important milestone which so many people have campaigned for.”

The act sets out that:

• A bereaved parent will be entitled to take at least 2 weeks’ leave which must be taken in the first 56 days following the child’s death. This leave should be taken in blocks of 1 week and can be continuous or discontinuous;

• Leave can be taken in respect of each child if there is more than one child involved;

• The definition of a qualifying parent may be framed (in whole or part) by reference to the employee’s care of the child before he/she died (regulations will provide more detail on the definition);

• The rules about rights during that leave (and other family leave) also apply during bereavement leave, including the right to the same terms and conditions (other than in respect of pay) and (broadly) the right to return to the same role;

• The process that should be followed i.e. the requirement to give notice and provide evidence, will be set out within the regulations;

• The rates of pay will also be determined by the regulations, but in order to receive pay (rather than be able to take leave), a parent must have at least 26 weeks’ continuous service and received pay above the lower earnings limit for the last 8 weeks.

Employer considerations

• Employers should have well written bereavement policies in the workplace, this will equip employees with certainty and security during difficult times;

• Details regarding death should be kept private under data protection laws. Employers should consider asking the employee how much information they wish to pass on to their colleagues;

• It is important that employers are aware of the risk of racial or religious discrimination claims that may come as a result of refusing an employee time off for religious observances on death. This is because certain religions require a set time to mourn – For example, Muslims have certain set mourning periods, depending on the relation of the deceased relative.

How can Employment Law Services (ELS) help?

If you are an employer who requires assistance with any of the issues raised in this blog contact us today for your free consultation 0370 218 5662.

Top 5 Employment Law Questions of August 2018

1. When is it permissible for an employer to terminate the contract of employment of an employee on the grounds of ill health?

Dismissing an employee on the grounds of ill health is anything but straight forward. Lack of capability, including when assessed with reference to health can be viewed as a potentially fair reason for dismissal under s98 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Assuming the employer can provide enough evidence that capability is the reason behind the dismissal, it must then be followed with a fair procedure.

Over the years, case law has established 4 main elements that constitute a fair procedure, these include:

• Consultation with the employee
• A medical investigation
• Consideration of alternative employment
• Possible ill health early retirement if there is provision for this

2. What records relating to statutory maternity pay must an employer keep?

An employer must keep the following information on each employee who receives statutory maternity pay:

• The medical certificate (MAT B1) or other evidence relating to the pregnancy that has been provided by the employee
• A record of intended dates of leave advised by the employee and the date the maternity leave officially commenced, if circumstances change
• A record of weeks that SMP was paid and the amount paid each week
• A note of any weeks in the maternity pay period for which SMP was not paid and the reasons why

3. If an employee wishes to resign after disciplinary proceedings have commenced, should the employer continue the disciplinary proceedings?

If the employee’s resignation is with immediate effect, then his or her employment will terminate. There would then be nothing to gain in continuing disciplinary proceedings without the employee who is no longer employed. However, it is important that employers store the disciplinary information for up to one year following the employee’s resignation. This information will be of great use should the employee attempt to claim constructive dismissal or unlawful discrimination following the disciplinary proceedings.

4. What will happen to EU employees after Brexit?

The rules on free movement and immigration in the UK still remain unclear. This topic has been a fundamental issue of the negotiations held between the UK and the EU.

On 8 December 2017, the UK Government announced it had come to an agreement with the EU on citizens’ rights. Following this, a further agreement was reached on the terms of the implementation period. The agreement named “Settled and pre-settled status for EU Citizens and their families” is not yet law and will be subject to change depending on the final outcome of the negotiations.

The Government have implied that there will be an implementation period, which is due to commence on 29 March 2019 (the withdrawal date) and will terminate on 31 December 2020. Under this agreement, EU nationals residing in the UK before 31 2020 will meet the criteria for settled status when they have been a UK resident for 5 years. This will give them the right to work and live in the UK without a fixed time limit.

EU nationals who do not have 5 years continuous residency will be permitted to apply for a permit, which will grant them the right to remain until they reach the 5-year mark, at this point they will be able to apply for settled status.

Those who arrive in the UK throughout the implementation period will be required to register their residency if they stay for longer than 3 months.

5. Can employers still operate childcare voucher schemes following the introduction of tax-free childcare?

Yes, employers can still operate a childcare voucher scheme. However, it is important to note that new entrants will not be eligible to join the scheme from 4 October 2018.

The Government had initially announced that the scheme would end 5 April 2018. However, it was extended by 6 months in March 2018. Employees will continue to reap benefits from an existing childcare voucher scheme, as long as they continue as employees of the employer and that employer continues to offer the scheme.

How can Employment Law Services (ELS) help?

If you are an employer who requires assistance with any of the issues raised in this blog contact us today for your free consultation 0370 218 5662.

Know when to outsource a HR function

As a small business owner, how many times have you gone into the office early to find mountains of paperwork that you just never seem to get through?

Most employers will understand the frustration of spending more time than necessary on non-revenue generating activities. Therefore, outsourcing a HR function can make the business more profitable and productive.

What size is the business?
Generally, employers with fewer than 80 employees tend not to have an in-house HR function. Instead, managers deal with any HR or employment issues that arise. However, with the business growing each day, staying compliant becomes a growing concern.

What services do SME’s require?
The nature of the work carried out by an employment law and HR specialist varies and is usually determined on the nature of the organisation and the roles carried out by its employees.

With regard to Employment Law Services (ELS), we work with employers who have no HR function to ensure their business consistently meets all of its legal requirements in terms of HR policies and employment contracts. As well as this, the team are qualified to advise and support business owners and managers who are faced with discrimination claims, redundancy issues, settlement agreements and dismissals.

How much does it cost to outsource?
At Employment Law Services (ELS) we keep our price structure simple. Our clients benefit from a cost-effective solution that saves them extensive amounts of time. Which in turn allows them to focus on the core business activities.

(1) Ad hoc Service

The team at Employment Law Services (ELS) provide UK employers of all sizes with employment law advice, support and representation on an ad hoc basis. Ad hoc work was initially established to help smaller start-up companies draft employment contracts and policies, ensuring new employers are complying with complex employment legislation whilst protecting their business.

(2) Annual Retainer Service

Our fixed-fee annual employment law and HR retainer service is provided by our specialist team of fully qualified employment law practitioners who understand how to balance compliance with UK employment legislation with the practicalities of successful people management in an operational environment where organisational objectives need to be met.
This helps employers manage their employees across all aspects of their employment from offer letters and contracts of employment, to managing absence, poor performance, disciplinaries, grievances and terminations.

Benefits of HR outsourcing 

  • Reduced cost
  • Increased efficiency
  • Access to improved HR IT systems
  • Improved management information (including human capital metrics)
  • Access to HR expertise not available internally
  • Increased flexibility and speed of response
  • Reduced risk

Employer considerations

Employers should consider the following factors when deciding to outsource:

  • Are you spending too much time on activities that do not generate profits or competitive success?
  • Are you carrying out jobs that waste valuable time and energy?
  • Do you have temporary tasks that arise, yet recur in cycles?
  • Do you require skills that are so specialised, but it would be impractical for you or management to do it?

If you are a business owner who employs people and you are not sure what to do next, contact us today for your free consultation. 0370 218 5662.

Employment Law Quiz

Employment legislation covers all areas of day-day business activities. This includes what employers can and cannot do in regard to employment contracts, recruitment, wages, dismissals, employee rights and working hours.

All employers – no matter what size – must ensure they comply with UK employment legislation, failure to do so can expose your business to costly employment tribunal claims. Test your knowledge here (answers at the bottom – no cheating!)

(1) When does a contract of employment begin?
  • The first day of employment
  • As soon as the candidate has accepted the job
  • When the candidate has been offered an interview
(2) What age is an employee entitled to the National Living Wage?
  • 16
  • 21
  • 25
(3) What are employees not entitled to?
  • The right to not be discriminated against
  • The right to a safe working environment 
  • The right to 7 weeks paid holiday
  • The right to not be harassed bullied or victimised 
(4) How many weeks of statutory maternity pay is a pregnant woman entitled to?
  • 5
  • 39
  • 52
  • 36
(5) If an employee has a disability, what must the employer do?
  • Make reasonable adjustments 
  • Dismiss them
  • Avoid discussing the subject with the employee
(6) An employee should be paid for all unauthorised overtime
  • True
  • False
(7) What is the current National Minimum Wage Rate for employees aged 21 and over?
  • £6.47
  • £7.38
  • £8.91
  • £10.05
(8) Can an employee claim they have been sexually discriminated against if they have only been employed by the company for 6 months?
  • Yes
  • No
(9) What is constructive dismissal?
  • An act of employment termination made without good reason or contrary to the country’s specific legislation
  • A situation in which an employee’s contract of employment has been terminated by the employer, where the termination breaches one or more terms of the contract of employment, or a statute provision or rule in employment law
  • When an employee terminates the employment relationship in response to the employers behaviour towards them











(1) A contract starts as soon as an offer of employment is accepted. Starting work proves that you accept the terms and conditions offered by the employer.

(2) 25. From April 2018, individuals aged 25 and over are entitled to £7.83ph.

(3) An employee is not entitled to 7 weeks paid annual leave.

(4) If an employee qualifies for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) it is paid for a maximum period of 39 weeks. It is paid: for the first six weeks at 90 per cent of their average gross weekly earnings with no upper limit. for the remaining 33 weeks at the lower of either the standard rate of £140.98 or 90 per cent of their average gross weekly earnings.

(5) It is an employers duty to make reasonable adjustments to allow disabled employees to carry out their work activities with ease.

(6) True

(7) £7.38

(8) Yes

(9) Constructive dismissal occurs when an employee terminates the employment relationship in response to the employers behaviour towards them.

How to upskill your workforce to get the most out of your employees

One of the biggest concerns for small business owners is the skills gap as the UK is soon set to leave the EU.

Recruitment website Totaljobs.com have produced research identifying 2 out of 3 employees have moved on due to lack of development opportunities and training.

Providing your employees with training and further education opportunities can have a number of benefits for your business in the long-term, including, improved employee morale, higher retention and increased productivity.

Therefore, upskilling your current workforce is a crucial step to keep your employees engaged. Here are our top tips to get the most out of your team.

Workplace mentoring

New starts and junior level employees benefit from this the most. Mentoring can be done informally – simply set aside some time each week to give your employees feedback, and work alongside them when solving problems and decision making. This has been proved as a more efficient way to bring employees up to scratch more quickly than if left unsupervised.

Training courses

Training courses are effective when improving your current workforce. However, they are also viewed as attractive benefits for ambitious individuals. Benefits include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Employees develop a greater skill set which in turn allows them to undertake a wider variety of duties
  • Increased ability to adapt effectively to change in the workplace

A report published by research firm Gallup – “How millennials want to work” identified that 59% of respondents said that opportunities to learn and develop were crucial when applying for jobs.

Set out roles & responsibilities clearly

If your employees have a clearer understanding of what is expected of them and how their input contributes to the success of the business, they will have a greater sense of purpose and in turn will have a stronger commitment in what they can achieve.

We recommend holding team meetings once a month to ensure all employees are contributing. This helps them understand their own individual role as well as the importance of their team.

Reward your employees for their efforts

It is well established that happy employees are vital to the long-term success of any organisation. Recognising your employees hard work and rewarding them will:

  • Create a good impression of your business to those outside of it
  • Aid the recruitment process
  • Encourage your employees to always go that extra mile for the business
  • Supports team work and cohesiveness

How can Employment Law Services (ELS) Help?

If you require employment law advice on any of the issues raised in this article, or any other employment issue give us a call today on 0370 218 5662.  You can also find out more about our fixed fee HR packages here and fixed fee employment law packages here, or get in touch.

Surveillance cameras and privacy at work

Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 provides that all individuals have the right to respect for private and family life. Therefore, would video surveillance of lecture theatres violate a university professor’s right to privacy?

This issue was recently highlighted in the case of Antovic & Mirkovic v Montenegro, in which the Dean of the School of Mathematics installed video cameras into the public lecture hall at a Montenegro university, suggesting it was to “protect safety of property, people and students.” However, this surveillance also recorded lectures.

The recorded data was protected by codes that only the Dean had access to. Following this complaint, the Personal Data Protection Agency ordered the removal of this surveillance on the grounds that there was no evidence to say safety was an issue and therefore, there was no legitimate reason for data collection. The Domestic court held that Article 8 had not been violated in the first instance.

However, by four votes to three, the European Court held that Article 8 had been breached, arguing that although the university is a public sphere, private life encompasses business and professional activities.

Monitoring employees at work

There are a number of reasons that employers may wish to monitor their employees at work. The Data Protection Act does not restrict employers to do this, however, it is important that employers remember that employees are entitled to some degree of privacy in the workplace.

Should an employer wish to monitor his employees, they should be informed prior and told about any monitoring arrangements and the reason behind it.

Key aspects to monitoring employees

  • Employers should have written policies and procedures in the workplace regarding monitoring at work
  • Monitoring should be justified
  • Employees should be informed of what is under surveillance and how long the data will be stored for
  • The Data Protection Act will apply if employers monitor workers by collecting or using information
  • Information gathered through monitoring should be stored in a secure environment

Common methods used for monitoring

  • CCTV
  • Looking at the use of email or website visits
  • Listening in to phone calls
  • Bag searches
  • Email and web monitoring

 CCTV surveillance

Should an employer wish to install CCTV to monitor employees, all staff should be made aware of this. For example, there should be signs on display stating where the cameras are placed. In addition, employees should be informed why they are now being monitored.

Signs should be:

  • Clear, readable and visible
  • Include contact details, such as, website address and point of contact should anyone have any questions about the scheme
  • Contain details of the purpose of the surveillance, E.G. to prevent theft

The Data Protection Act states that if an employer provides a specific reason for the surveillance, for example to stop theft, then the employer cannot use the footage for any other reason.

Bag searches

If an employer wishes to conduct bag searches, there must be a policy in place alerting employees that bags and purses will be subject to searches. Again, there should be a legitimate reason to justify these searches.

Covert monitoring

Covert monitoring is defined as “monitoring that is deliberately carried out in secret, without the knowledge of the staff being monitored.” This form of monitoring can be extremely difficult for an employer to justify. This form of investigation should be conducted as quickly as possible and only carried out as part of a specific investigation. When the investigation ends, so should the monitoring.

Employment Law Support for Employers

If you require employment law advice on workplace policies or any other employment issue give us a call today on 0370 218 5662.

Uber loses court appeal against drivers’ rights!

In October 2016, the Employment Tribunal ruled that two drivers who were employed as gig-economy workers by Uber should have been classed as ‘workers’ under the Employment Rights Act 1996. This landmark ruling confirmed that the firm were then obliged to pay its drivers the national minimum wage, sick pay and holiday pay.  This ruling has since caused huge implications for the gig-economy.

It was not surprising that by December 2016 the taxi-app company had attempted to overturn this judgement, arguing that they were a ‘technology firm’ and not a transport business; disputing that its drivers were independently self-employed as they were able to choose where and when they worked.

The judges involved in this case accused Uber of “resorting in its documentation to fictions, twisted language and even brand-new terminology.”

Today, one year on, Uber has failed to overturn this tribunal ruling with the EAT handing down its decision and upholding the initial ruling made in the Employment Tribunal; Uber drivers are ‘workers’ and therefore should qualify for all workers’ rights.

Uber have said that they will appeal this decision too as there is a further two stages in the appeal process – The Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Maria Ludkin of the GMB Union said: “Uber must now face up to its responsibilities and give its workers the rights to which they are entitled.

“GMB urges the company not to waste everyone’s time and money dragging their lost cause to the Supreme Court.”

What does this mean now?

Today’s judgement is likely to cause massive implications as other companies with large self-employed workforces may now face very similar action. It is expected that organisations who have adopted a similar model to Uber will now discover that they owe a substantial amount more to their workers, such as paid annual leave, national minimum wage and sick pay.

Employee? Worker? Self-Employed?

It is crucial to the smooth running of any organisation that an employer is aware of what rights its workers are entitled to and what responsibilities they are legally obliged to abide by.

Employees, workers and self-employed workers enjoy a variety of different legal entitlements, and since many of these rights form the basis of the employment status, the consequences of getting an individual’s employment status wrong should not be underestimated.

When determining an individual’s employment status, an employer will be expected to examine the characteristics that form the employment relationship before coming to a conclusion.

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 an employee is defined as: “an individual who has entered into or works under (or, where the employment has ceased, worked under) a contract of employment.”

Under the same legislation a worker is defined as: “an individual who has entered into or works under (or, where the employment has ceased, worked under)— a contract of employment, or any other contract, whether express or implied.”

How can Employment Law Services (ELS) help?

Employers confused or concerned about the employment status of any of their workers and feel they may be affected by any of the issues raised in this article , contact us today on 0800 612 4772 or request a Free Quote now.

Pregnant women, new mothers and redundancy – don’t get caught out!

If an employer finds that they need to restructure their organisation and make redundancies, then it is extremely important that they are careful about the way they treat pregnant employees or employees on maternity leave.

In the first instance, it is important that employers understand pregnancy and maternity protection.

The purpose of this legislation is to:

  • Protect the health of mothers and babies
  • Minimise the problems that working women face due to starting a family

The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999 provides that from the beginning of pregnancy to the end of maternity leave is a ‘protected period’.

The law states:

  • During this protected period, it is viewed as unlawful for a woman to be treated unfavourable because of her pregnancy or because she is on maternity leave
  • A woman returning from maternity leave has the right to return to the same position as before she left; her position cannot be filled even if the employer believes the interim is a better employee
  • Should an employer select an employee for redundancy on the grounds of pregnancy or maternity leave, this will be viewed as unlawful discrimination and unfair dismissal
  • Failing to consult an employee on maternity leave about redundancy will be viewed as unlawful discrimination
  • A female made redundant whilst on maternity leave, must be offered another suitable position. She should not be required to re-apply to the organisation.

How can employers manage redundancy that involves pregnant employees/employees on maternity leave?

If you are reorganising the workforce or downsizing and you need to make employees redundant, which includes a pregnant employee or one that is on maternity leave, employers should:

  • Ensure the redundancy is genuine and unavoidable
  • Make sure the employee is consulted
  • Identify non-discriminatory selection criteria
  • Look at alternative roles

Is the redundancy genuine?

Employers should ask themselves this question in the first instance, and ensure the redundancy is for a genuine reason and not caused by the pregnancy or maternity leave, genuine reasons include – closure of the business.

Employers often find that whilst the employee is on maternity leave, the business runs fine without her by readjusting and reorganising. However, this will not be viewed as a valid reason to make the employee redundant.

How should employers consult employees on maternity leave?

Employers should raise the issue as early as possible with all employees, alerting them of the proposed redundancies.

When doing this, employers should:

  • Raise the reason behind the redundancy
  • Discuss alternatives, such as voluntary redundancy or reducing working hours
  • Alert employees at risk of the selection criteria

Failing to consult an employee on maternity leave is likely to be viewed as discrimination should the employee take a claim to the Employment Tribunal. If employers are reluctant to contact an employee on maternity leave in case of disturbing them, they should discuss preferred contact options prior to the employee going on maternity leave.

How should employers decide the right selection criteria?

If the employer chooses to use a selection process to decide who to make redundant ACAS states “it must be transparent, known by everyone it applies to and non-discriminatory.” Further, this process should be objective and measurable.

Expected criteria to be considered includes:

  • Qualifications and the skills of that employee
  • Performance
  • Attendance record
  • Disciplinary record
  • Customer feedback

It is important that when considering criteria, employers do not disadvantage the employee on the grounds of sex, pregnancy or maternity leave.

Is there a relevant alternative position the employee can be put in?

On occasions, employers may have alternative positions that they can offer a redundant employee. In this event, an employee on maternity leave who is being considered for redundancy must be offered this vacancy before anyone else. If you fail to do this, her dismissal may be viewed as automatically unfair.

If there is no other vacancy to be offered, a woman can be made redundant during maternity leave if the reason behind the redundancy is unconnected with the pregnancy or maternity leave and the employer can display they followed a fair redundancy process.

Employment Law Support for Employers

If you require employment law advice on any of the issues raised in this article, or any other employment issue give us a call today on 0370 218 5662.  You can also find out more about our fixed fee HR packages here and fixed fee employment law packages here, or get in touch.

Please note, the information in this article is for guidance purposes only and it is therefore advised that employers seek legal advice before embarking on any enforcement action.

Public sector pay cap to be lifted from next year

Theresa May’s Government announced yesterday they will end the 1% annual cap on public sector pay by 2018 and in 2017, police and prison staff will be awarded with a 2% and 1.7% rise.

However, Senior Police Officers remain locked in a bitter row with the Government arguing that the number of officers on the streets will have to be cut in order to fund this 2% pay rise for their staff.

The Prime Minister stated that “more flexibility” is required to continue attracting and retaining workers with the right skills in order to distribute “world class” public services.

These rises will be supported through cuts elsewhere in prisons and police force budgets. It has been submitted that other public-sector workers will see a rise in 2018/19 however, these will be funded through Government spending.

The armed forces, doctors, dentists and the NHS are next scheduled for a pay review which will be addressed in Autumns budget.

These increases appear as a positive move in the right direction, however, they still fall below the rate of inflation and were instantly criticised by unions who have been fighting for a 5% increase across the board.

The Prison Officers Association argues that the 1.7% pay increase for their staff is “not good enough” when current inflation sits at 2.9%.

The Police Federation stated: “It nowhere near makes up for what police officers have lost – it doesn’t deal with real term cuts.”

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress branded the Government as “pathetic” over the offer. “Public sector workers have suffered seven long years of real pay cuts and are thousands of pounds worse off. Today’s announcement means bills will continue to rise faster than their wages.”

Sir Vincent Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats said he was pleased the Prime Minister had accepted that the pay cap was no longer sustainable and urged ministers to protect all public-sector workers and ensure they are “given the pay they deserve.”

How Employment Law Services (ELS) Can Help Employers

Employers concerned about any of the issues raised in this article can take advantage of Employment Law Services (ELS) free consultation service – call us today to arrange your free consultation – 0800 612 4772.