Gagandeep Prasad: Update on employment reform

In the employment law world, there is, as usual, lots of activity.

On the legislative front, the coalition government is continuing its programme of employment reform. This includes new provisions on executive remuneration aimed at curbing boardroom excess by giving greater powers to shareholders contained in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, now going through parliament.

The government has also confirmed it will consult on proposals for mandatory equal-pay audits for employers that have lost equal-pay claims in a tribunal.

The first staging date for auto-enrolment is 1 October 2012 and the new national minimum wage rates also take effect from that date.

Recent cases include one with fairly unusual circumstances, Fox v British Airways, where an employee died shortly after his dismissal and his estate brought claims on his behalf for disability
discrimination and unfair dismissal. Here, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that the loss of a death-in-service benefit was recoverable by the estate as part of this claim.

On the issue of sickness and statutory holiday, we have had some clarity with the recent decisions by the Court of Appeal in Larner v NHS Leeds and the European Court of Justice in ANGED v FASGA.

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Also, there are a number of appeals on employment status for tax or employment law purposes, including one involving WeightWatchers and another concerning a Stringfellows lapdancer. Watch this space.

Gagandeep Prasad is senior associate at Charles Russell