We look at four key cases that the employment tribunals and courts will be considering in 2017 and which employers and HR professionals need to watch out for.
1 Equal Pay
2017 will also give us the next chapter with Asda’s equal pay dispute. An Employment Tribunal gave thousands of women who work at the retailer’s stores the right to proceed with equal pay claims. If the women succeed, they could collectively receive payments backdated to 2002, which could amount to more than £100m.
2 Holiday Pay
We will also see the long-running case of Lock v British Gas in the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal confirmed that an employee’s holiday pay must be based on their basic pay and any results-based commission they would have earned if they were not on annual leave.
3 Gig Economy
We will see also how cases about the gig economy evolve. Their business model of using self-employed contractors rather than hiring workers has brought about an abundance of legal action.
In October 2016, an Employment Tribunal found against the company Uber – which allows people to book and pay for a taxi via an app – in a case regarding employment status. It stated that the people who work for Uber are workers, not self-employed as the company claimed, and as such they are entitled to workers’ rights. This decision has been appealed.
4 Brexit – what happens next?
The Supreme Court will release its ruling on Brexit. In the latest twist, the High Court ruled that the Government does not have the power to trigger Article 50 without the approval of Parliament. The government appealed this and it is now up to the highest legal authority in the UK to decide.
It is hoped that during the course of the year there will be more clarification as to what leaving the EU will mean for employment law, employers’ duties and workers’ rights.
We will keep you posted on how these cases evolve. If you require specific advice, please contact your Employment Law Adviser for advice and support.