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News Roundup 11th April 2017

Published 11 April 2017

Latest Supreme Court: Indirect Discrimination

In order to succeed with an indirect discrimination claim (1), is it necessary to establish the reason for the particular disadvantage to which a group is put, compared to another?

No, held the Supreme Court in the decisions of Essop and others v Home Office (UK Border Agency) (2)  and Naeem v Secretary of State for Justice (3).

The essential element is a causal connection between the provision, criterion or practice (‘PCP’) and the disadvantage suffered, not only by the group, but also by the individual.

In these important judgments, the Supreme Court has provided much needed clarification of the law and described a number of features of indirect discrimination with lots of helpful examples designed to assist.

Gender pay gaps must be declared by UK companies

UK companies with 250 or more employees will have to publish their gender pay gaps within the next year under a new legal requirement.

The move is part of attempts to fight workplace discrimination.

The UK gender pay gap is 18.1% for all workers, or 9.4% for full-time staff.

Women and Equalities minister Justine Greening said "helping women to reach their full potential isn't only the right thing to do, it makes good economic sense".

Public, private and voluntary sector firms are now all required to disclose average pay for men and women, including any bonuses.

About half of the UK workforce will be affected by the new reporting rules, which encompass 9,000 employers and more than 15 million employees.

Firms must publish a snapshot of their employee pay as at 5 April 2017 if they are a private business or charity, or 31 March 2017 for those in the public sector. All the data will eventually be available on a government database (4).

As of lunchtime on the first day of the new reporting rules, no companies had published information through that database. A few firms including Virgin Money and Deloitte had already published their figures prior to the government's campaign launch.

The gender pay gap refers to the difference in average pay between men and woman, which the Office for National Statistics works out using median hourly earnings figures (5) for UK employees.

£25,000 for early termination of apprenticeship contract

An employment tribunal has awarded £25,000 for breach of contract to an employee whose apprenticeship was ended early.

In Kinnear v Marley Eternit Ltd t/a Marley Contract Services (6), the employment tribunal awarded a roof tiler £25,000 over the breach of his contract of apprenticeship.

Employers’ obligations to apprentices: tribunal’s view

“It seems clear to the tribunal that the claimant was an apprentice and, as such, he was entitled to be trained by the respondent company and employed by them until the apprenticeship finished. In this case that would be until November 2018. It seems from the correspondence that no heed was paid by the company to the claimant’s particular status in the company.”

Mr Kinnear became an apprentice roof tiler with Marley Eternit in October 2014. His contract of apprenticeship was due to run until November 2018. In June 2016, he was advised that there had been a downturn in business and that his employment was being terminated on the basis of redundancy. His appeal against dismissal was rejected. Mr Kinnear brought a claim for breach of contract in an employment tribunal. The company did not enter a defence to the employment tribunal claim. In upholding Mr Kinnear’s claim, the tribunal noted that he had 122 weeks left to run on his apprenticeship. It assessed that he would have been paid £24,217 for the remainder of his apprenticeship.
References
1. Indirect discrimination [Internet]. [cited 2017 Apr 11]. Available from: http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/discrimination/what-are-the-different-types-of-discrimination/indirect-discrimination/
2. uksc-2015-0161-judgment.pdf [Internet]. [cited 2017 Apr 11]. Available from: https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2015-0161-judgment.pdf
3. uksc-2015-0161-judgment.pdf Supreme Court [Internet]. [cited 2017 Apr 11]. Available from: https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2015-0161-judgment.pdf
4. Gender Pay Gap [Internet]. [cited 2017 Apr 11]. Available from: https://genderpaygap.campaign.gov.uk/
5. The gender pay gap – what is it and what affects it? | Visual.ONS [Internet]. [cited 2017 Apr 11]. Available from: http://visual.ons.gov.uk/the-gender-pay-gap-what-is-it-and-what-affects-it/
6. Mr_D_Kinnear_v_Marley_Eternit_Ltd_ta_Marley_Contract_Services_41052712016_Final.pdf [Internet]. [cited 2017 Apr 11]. Available from: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/58c6ba7fe5274a2a5c00014f/Mr_D_Kinnear_v_Marley_Eternit_Ltd_ta_Marley_Contract_Services_41052712016_Final.pdf

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