Included in this issue: Chancellor's Autumn Statement: the impact for employment law; Equal pay: female retail workers entitled to compare themselves to male depot workers; Brexit: landmark decision on triggering Article 50 and more...

Chancellor's Autumn Statement: the impact for employment law

On 14 November 2016, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, delivered the Autumn Statement.  Here we outline the key changes of interest to employment lawyers and HR professionals.

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Misconduct dismissals: manifestly inappropriate disciplinary warnings should not be relied upon as part of a fair dismissal process

In Bandara v British Broadcasting Corporation the EAT held that a Tribunal had erred in finding it was reasonable to summarily dismiss an employee in circumstances where a "manifestly inappropriate" final written warning had been taken into account. The Tribunal had failed to address the weight given to the final written warning in reaching the later decision to dismiss. Instead, it had speculated on what would have happened if the initial warning had been at an appropriate level. This was not the right approach. The Tribunal's finding that the dismissal was fair was overturned and the case was remitted. 

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Flexible working practices: refusal to adjust staff roster system for breastfeeding employees was discriminatory

The Employment Tribunal has held that a requirement for staff to work unrestricted hours, and more than 8 continuous hours each day, indirectly discriminated against two female employees who had returned from maternity leave but were still breastfeeding their babies (Macfarlane and another v easyJet Airline Company Ltd).

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Equal pay: female retail workers entitled to compare themselves to male depot workers

In Brierley and others v Asda Stores Ltd the Employment Tribunal held that a group of female retail store employees were entitled to compare themselves to a group of male distribution depot employees for the purposes of their equal pay claims. In this briefing we explain what this case is about, the potential impact for employers and the steps that affected employers should consider taking now.

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Four new pieces of Acas guidance published

Over the past few months, Acas has published four new pieces of guidance which will be of interest to employment lawyers and HR professionals. In addition, we understand that Acas is currently preparing guidance on the forthcoming gender pay gap reporting regime.

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Trade Union Act: independent review into the use of e-balloting in industrial disputes 

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced that an independent review on the delivery of secure methods of electronic balloting will be chaired by Sir Ken Knight and will report to Parliament by no later than December 2017. The review is required under the Trade Union Act 2016 and may herald the introduction of electronic balloting in industrial disputes.

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Brexit: landmark decision on triggering Article 50

The landmark High Court decision handed down on 3 November has been widely reported and commented on. The Court held that the Government does not have the power under royal prerogative to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (Article 50) and that Parliament alone has this power and must therefore be consulted in this process.

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Brexit and tax

No one currently knows what Brexit will mean for the UK, its economy and its trading and other relationships with other countries. That lack of clarity extends to the effect on the UK's tax system. But can we make some informed predictions about the impact Brexit might have on UK tax policy?

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Consultations round up

A regular feature of our Up to date briefing is to keep you appraised of open consultations, calls for evidence and surveys affecting the employment law arena. If you would like us to respond on your behalf, please let us know.

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Key contacts

Meet the team