Welcome to the December edition of Up to Date. Included in this issue: Employment law review of the year 2017; What's on the horizon for employment law in 2018?; Key changes for HR under the GDPR.

Employment law review of the year 2017

As the year draws to a close, it's a good time to take stock of some of the key employment law cases from the past 12 months.  Here, we consider the learning points from some of 2017's most important decisions affecting employment status, equality, unfair dismissal, employment contracts, holiday pay, whistleblowing and more.

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What's on the horizon for employment law in 2018?

What does 2018 have in store for employment lawyers and HR practitioners? Despite the Government's focus on Brexit-related matters, there is still plenty of new employment legislation to keep us busy, as well as a pipeline of important cases on topics such as worker status, whistleblowing and holiday pay.  Here we round up the key legislation and cases to watch out for in 2018.

Please click here to view the horizon scanner

Making the right call: right to work checks and unfair dismissal risks

A recent EAT decision highlights the tension that can arise between immigration law and employment law, particularly the law around unfair dismissal, and the risks of an employer deciding to dismiss an employee who has the right to work, but is simply unable to evidence it (Baker v Abellio London Ltd).

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Race discrimination: telling a Polish worker to "go back to Poland" was direct race discrimination

The Employment Tribunal has found an employer vicariously liable for direct discrimination after a co-worker told a Polish colleague that he and his family should go back to Poland.  The comment was made in October 2016, shortly after Britain voted to leave the European Union, and at a time when the media reported a sharp increase in incidents of racist behaviour towards Polish nationals (Nazarczyk v (1) TJ Morris Ltd; (2) Cowley).

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Key changes for HR under the GDPR

In our latest Employment Channel update, we take a look at the key changes for HR practitioners under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and suggest some specific action points for employers to consider before the GDPR comes into force next year on 25 May 2018.

Shared Parental Pay: Should employers who enhance maternity pay also enhance shared parental pay? Our client survey results

Should employers who enhance maternity pay also enhance shared parental pay? With conflicting Tribunal decisions on whether failure to do so amounts to direct sex discrimination, the point is now on appeal to the Employment Tribunal Appeal. We expect to hear more in early 2018. In the meantime, our client survey conducted between August and November 2017 reveals that 47% of those surveyed enhance maternity pay, but only 4% enhance shared parental pay.

See a more detailed breakdown of our survey results here