Ramadan began on the evening of 23 April 2020 and will last for 30 days (until the evening of 23 May 2020), which means that some or all of it will be taking place under the continued lockdown imposed on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. What issues do employers need to be aware of during Ramadan?
In the face of undoubtedly strong feelings on both sides of the Brexit debate, questions are likely to arise regarding the implications of employees bringing their Brexit views into the workplace. Specifically, are there potential discrimination risks and could a strong belief regarding Brexit count as a philosophical belief for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010?
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) recently published its recommendations for eliminating class-based bias in society. Its report points to a number of statistics demonstrating that working-class individuals suffer disadvantage in the employment sphere. As such, the TUC has proposed (among other things) the introduction of compulsory class pay gap reporting for all employers.
The government says that it is "time to move to mandatory ethnicity pay reporting" and recently launched a consultation on a possible new law. The consultation seeks feedback on the sort of information that employers should be required to publish. It sets out some different ways in which this could be done, including by having a single pay gap figure of 'white versus non-white' or multiple pay gap figures for all of the different ethnicities or by publishing pay information by £20,000 pay band or by quartile.
Over the past few months, the United Kingdom has gone from shivering in sub-zero temperatures to experiencing one of the hottest summers on record. Although the sun may be more welcome than the snow, it can still cause headaches for employers. As such, there are a number of factors that they should keep in mind when the mercury starts rising.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is adopting a rigorous approach to the enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting regime. It recently confirmed in a Freedom of Information Act request that it has sent 1,456 letters to employers that it believes have failed to comply with the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 and indicated that it will be investigating every company that has failed to comply.
The government has recently announced a consultation on tipping to identify ways to reduce the confusion that customers often experience. A tipping system which is open to discrimination by customers could become the employer's problem. Employers should consider including provisions in employment contracts and policies that make it clear that any cash tips are between the customer and the employee, and are nothing to do with the employer.
An employment tribunal recently found that an exploited migrant worker was the victim of unlawful discrimination because of her caste. It found that caste is immutable and hereditary, and fits readily into the category of descent, so it may be considered an aspect of race. However, if a prospective claimant's caste is not so closely connected to descent, it may prove harder to bring a claim of race discrimination.
The government's Fit for Work service has finally been rolled out nationwide. Fit for Work, which has been generally welcomed by general practitioners, offers advice and guidance to employers and employees about work-related health matters. While free occupational health advice is valuable to all employers, its success will depend on the standard of the service delivered.
The new Conservative government's legislative programme for the upcoming parliamentary session contains a number of proposals which will affect employment law in various ways. This update outlines these proposals, along with certain other reforms that the Conservative Party has previously indicated that it intends to implement.