Welcome to the October edition of Up to Date. Included in this issue: Parental Bereavement: proposals for new statutory right to leave and pay published; Employment Tribunals: scheme to reimburse Tribunal fees introduced.

Parental Bereavement: proposals for new statutory right to leave and pay published

Draft legislation has been published which would give bereaved parents a statutory right to paid time off work from 2020.  The legislation is a Private Members' Bill introduced by Conservative MP, Kevin Hollinrake.  Although Private Members' Bills don't typically make their way onto the statute books, it is expected that this Bill will do so given that it has Government support.

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Unfair dismissal: employer entitled to take into account previous episodes of misconduct which had not been treated as disciplinary matters

The EAT has overturned a decision of the Employment Tribunal that a misconduct dismissal had been unfair on the grounds that: (i) the investigation report contained details of past misconduct offences that had been dealt with by way of remedial training; and (ii) the employer had not been transparent with the employee about the fact that further instances of misconduct could result in dismissal for gross misconduct.  Given that the Tribunal had found the dismissing officer's decision to dismiss had fallen within the band of reasonable responses, it was perverse to say that the dismissal was unfair because the investigation report contained too much background information. To the extent that there had been a lack of transparency, this had to be viewed in context and it was not sufficiently serious to render an otherwise reasonable dismissal unfair (NHS 24 v Pillar).

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Employment Tribunals: scheme to reimburse Tribunal fees introduced

In July 2017, the Supreme Court quashed the fees regime operating in the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal.  As the fees system was ruled unlawful, the Ministry of Justice is now required to reimburse all fees that were paid.  Here, we report on the reimbursement scheme launched in October 2017.

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The Parker Review: 'A Report into the Ethnic Diversity of UK Boards' 

In October 2017, the Parker Review Committee, led by Sir John Parker, published its final independent report into the ethnic diversity of UK boards. The report notes that while there has been a sharper focus on gender diversity in recent years, the attention given to ethnic diversity has been minimal. The report finds that the boards of the UK’s leading listed companies currently neither reflect the fast-changing ethnic diversity of the UK generally nor the stakeholders that those companies seek to engage and represent specifically.  Our Corporate Governance team consider the key findings of the report.

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Modern Slavery Act: publication of updated guidance

In early October 2017, the Government updated its practical guide to publishing a supply chain transparency statement as required by the Modern Slavery Act 2015. What has changed? Katie Kinloch, PSL in our Commercial Services team, considers the new guidance and what it means for affected businesses.

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Brexit: the latest developments affecting the immigration status of EU nationals

Our Immigration team considers the latest developments in the Brexit process affecting EU nationals.  Last week, the Prime Minister wrote directly to EU nationals to assure them of their rights post-Brexit.  Whilst seem as reassuring by some, it was branded a "PR stunt" by others. The team also considers the Government's proposed registration requirement for all EU nationals resident in the UK.

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