Kim Huggins (Clinical Negligence solicitor) and Alex Pearce (Employment solicitor) have both been promoted to Senior Associate at Pinney Talfourd on 1st December 2017.
Kim and Alex were both recently recognised by Legal 500 UK 2017 as a “Next Generation Lawyer”. Alex was described by the Legal 500 as “efficient, knowledgeable and communicative.” Kim was defined as a “first-class lawyer”. Both have been recognised for their dedication and outstanding results in their work to date.
Philip Cockram, Managing Partner, says “We are delighted to be able to recognise Kim and Alex’s contribution to the firm over the last few years. They have both proved themselves to be great assets to the firm and great advocates of our culture or service and expertise generally. Congratulations to them both and we look forward to watching them continue to progress and assist in the development of the firm over the years to come”.
Whoever wins the general election, it is clear that employment matters will continue to be a fast-paced and evolving area of law. The legal world can be a complicated place and disputes with employees can take up valuable management time and resources. They can prove expensive to resolve, and early advice is always the key.
The decision, made by the employment appeal tribunal will have significant consequences for the social care industry, as the costs of providing staff to clients will increase massively and there may be claims for backdating pay. Care agencies that refuse to pay up as part of the new ruling could see penalties and fines assigned to them over the next 12 months for failure to provide the NMW.
In the case that brought this issue to light, the care worker was employed by the charity Mencap to sleep at a client’s home in order to be readily available for them if required. She was paid a flat rate of £29.05 for the nine hours she was on shift during the night and received £6.70 an hour during daylight working hours. It is stated as part of the NMW regulations that all workers must receive national minimum wage as an average for ALL hours worked. The employment tribunal ruled that the care worker was indeed entitled to be paid an amount equivalent to national minimum wage for the whole period that she was at work – including the periods in which she was asleep.
From a legal perspective, regulations surrounding NMW and care staff are far from clear; the judge in this specific case commented that there is no deciding factor in these cases, and employers will need to look at several issues regarding national minimum wage for their staff to determine if their pay structure may be considered unlawful.
If you are an employer at a care agency and are looking for advice on where you stand regarding NMW and your staff members, it is advised to seek expert legal advice in the first instance.
The review date for the national minimum wage has moved to 1 April 2017 instead of 1 October 2017. This means that the next round of changes to the national minimum wage and national living wage will take effect on 1 April 2017:
From this date:
Employers should check that workers and employees are being paid the correct amounts, particularly those who have recently had a birthday that will take them from one hourly rate to another, for example, someone who has just turned 18. There are penalties of a fine of up to £20,000 for getting the national minimum or living wage wrong, or it could mean losing an unlawful deduction from wages claim.
Statutory sick pay will be £89.35 per week from 6 April 2017.
Statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance, statutory paternity pay, statutory adoption pay and shared parental leave pay will be £140.98 per week from 2 April 2017.
The case was heard by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), Europe’s to court after a Belgian court sought clarification on what is banned by EU anti-discrimination laws.
In the Belgian case, a receptionist working for G4S in Belgium was fired for wearing a headscarf to work. Samira Achbita claimed she was being discriminated against on the grounds of her religion.
The ECJ have stated that a ban must be based on internal company rules requiring all employees to "dress neutrally". It cannot be based on the wishes of a customer, it said. National courts must make sure this policy of neutrality had been applied equally to all employees.
It is the court's first decision on the issue of Islamic headscarves at work.
Employees want or feel obliged to wear certain items for religious reasons however sometimes these wishes conflict with an employer's dress code.