A quick round-up of the key employment law developments to watch out for.
Gender pay gap reporting
Due to the effects of the pandemic, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has postponed the deadline for organisations to publish their gender pay gap report by six months. This means that employers now have until 5 October 2021 before any legal action can be taken.
National Minimum Wage record keeping
With effect from 1 April 2021, the period for which an employer must keep records sufficient to establish that it is paying a worker the applicable minimum wage rate was extended from three years to six years.
Cap on public sector exit payments
The Restriction of Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2020, which came into force on 4 November 2020, are being revoked. The revocation follows various legal challenges to the regulations from local government organisations and trade unions, one of which was due to be heard in March 2021.
New tribunal awards limits
The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2021 has revised compensation limits for certain tribunal awards and other statutory payments from 6 April 2021. The Order includes the following new limits:
- The limit on a week's pay increases from £538 to £544.
- The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increases from £88,519 to £89,493.
- The minimum basic award for certain unfair dismissals (including health and safety dismissals) increases from £6,562 to £6,634.
Key cases to follow in 2021
There are several upcoming decisions to keep an eye out for during 2021:
Kostal UK v Dunkley - On 18 May 2021 the Supreme Court will hear an appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision that a one-off direct offer to employees concerning pay, which bypassed stalled collective bargaining, did not constitute an unlawful inducement under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
Flowers and others v East of England Ambulance - On the 21 June 2021 the Supreme Court will determine if holiday pay, under the Working Time Directive 1998, should take into account regular, voluntary overtime.
Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and another v Agnew and others - Between 23 – 24 June 2021 the Supreme Court will hear an appeal from the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal (NICoA), where it was held that gaps of more than three months would not be deemed to interrupt a series of unlawful deductions from holiday pay. While the NICoA’s decision only had persuasive effect on the courts in Great Britain, the Supreme Court’s decision will be binding across the UK.
Harpur Trust v Brazel - On 9 November 2021, the Supreme Court will determine if the employment tribunal was wrong to determine that "part-year workers" should have their annual leave entitlement capped at 12.07% of annualised hours.
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