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May

22

Flexible working changes

On 30th June 2014 the right to flexible working will be extended to all employees with eligibility. The flexible working request process in place at present will change; therefore employers need to be aware of the legal procedure. Read more in our latest blog article.


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May

22

Flexible working changes

The right to flexible working is to be extended to all those with 26 weeks’ service on 30 June 2014 according to current reports.

This change in the law brought about by the Children and Families Bill will also include an abolition of statutory procedures for dealing with the requests. Employers will be required to deal with the requests in a “reasonable” manner and notify employees of a final decision within three months....

 

ACAS has published a draft statutory Code of Practice to explain the meaning of “reasonable” in this context and provide clarity for businesses.

The Code provides the following advice to employers once they receive a request:

  • Invite the employee to attend a formal meeting and allow them to be accompanied by a work colleague;
  • The meeting should aim to discuss in detail the request and its mechanisms and impact upon the business;
  • Following the meeting, employers should consider the request:
    • Presume that they will grant requests unless there is a business reason for not doing so
    • Inform the employee in writing of their decision and if the request is accepted to discuss how and when the decision can be implemented
    • Only reject a request on the basis of one of the existing eight business reasons specified in section 80g(1)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996
  • If the employee’s request is rejected then they will be entitled to appeal against the decision

Currently only employees with children under the age of 17 (or 18 if the child is disabled) or who are carers have the right to request a flexible work pattern.

It is thought that by extending this right to all employees, it may answer the calls for a better work/life balance and may even improve absence rates, however time will tell whether more employees take up this offer and whether businesses could cope with the demand.

 

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Posted by: Jessica Stock
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May

16

Changes to annual leave

Annual leave is a hot topic and employers need to know of the changes and new rules that case law has brought with it.

Further information will be available towards the end of the year, however employers should ensure that they are aware of the changes that have taken place so far. This includes commission being included in the calculation for holiday pay and that the Working Time Directive does not require the carrying over of the 1.6 weeks’ additional leave when absent due to sickness.

Read the full article on our blog and ensure that you keep checking the news items for up to date amendments to this area of employment law. 


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May

16

Changes to annual leave

Annual leave has been a hot topic over the past couple of years with numerous cases being tested through the courts. The following are recent key cases that have helped to change the landscape surrounding annual leave:

Williams & Others v British Airways plc – This case concerns the Aviation Directive rather than the Working Time Directive but the principles are to apply to both. The latest decision in this case further to the Supreme Court referring a number of questions to the ECJ was that there was an entitlement to normal remuneration during statutory annual leave which is remuneration intrinsically linked to the performance of tasks which a worker is contractually required to perform....

Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd & Others – The Advocate General gave opinion on how the holiday pay of workers earning a basic salary and commission should be calculated. Further to the decision in the British Airways case, it was stated that remuneration during leave periods should be commensurate with pay during comparable periods of work earned over a representative period.

The latest development in this case is only given as opinion that commission should be included. As this is opinion, it is vague as to how it should be viewed or calculated, therefore we will have to wait until the end of the year for clarity on the subject but employers should bear this change in mind.

Neal v Freightliner Ltd – A Judge ruled that overtime pay must be included when calculating holiday pay under the Working Time Regulations. The Judge decided that wording should be included to exclude sections of the Employment Rights Act 1996 which state that the week’s pay provisions do not include periods of overtime. This case is not binding because it is a first instance case, however employers should consider taking paid overtime into account when calculating holiday pay.

Sood Enterprises Ltd v Healy – The EAT confirmed that the Working Time Directive does not require the carrying over of the 1.6 weeks’ additional leave where a worker is prevented from taking holiday due to long term sickness absence. A relevant agreement needs to be in place to provide for the remaining 1.6 weeks’ leave to be carried over.

Further information on this legal area should be available towards the end of this year, however Opsium believe that further case law could turn the whole subject of annual leave and pay on its head and that employers should be ready for it.

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Posted by: Jessica Stock
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May

07

Changes to Sickness Absence

Health related issues have a massive impact on the economy with nearly 1 million workers absent from work for a month per year. The government has responded with an initiative to encourage workers back to work by introducing a new state funded health assessment and case management. It is hoped that the initiative will reduce ill-health costs by as much as £70million per year. To find out more please read our article here.


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