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News Roundup 3rd April 2017

Published 03 April 2017

Headscarves and Religious Discrimination

Photographer wearing a Hijab

Does the banning of a headscarf at work constitute discrimination?
No, at least not direct discrimination, held the CJEU in Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions (the full judgment is not available yet, only the press summary).
G4S in Belgium operated a policy of 'neutrality', banning all wearing of political, religious or similar signs. A Muslim employee announced she wanted to start wearing a headscarf; she was told she could not, and she was then dismissed.
The CJEU held that G4S's policy did not amount to direct discrimination on grounds of religion because it prohibited all religious signs, so it was not treating one religion less favourably than another. Read more...

U-turn over Budget plan to increase National Insurance

Theresa May

Plans to increase National Insurance rates for self-employed people - announced in the Budget last week - have been dropped.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has said the government will not proceed with the increases which were criticised for breaking a 2015 manifesto pledge.

He told MPs in a Commons statement: "There will be no increases in National Insurance rates in this Parliament."

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn said the U-turn showed a government "in chaos". Read more...

April 2017: nine key employment law changes

1. Gender pay gap reporting rules come into force

2. Apprenticeship levy is introduced

3. There will be an immigration skills charge

4. Reform to the intermediaries rules (IR35) in the public sector

5. Tax advantages under salary-sacrifice arrangements to be limited

6. National minimum wage increases

7. Pensions advice allowance is introduced

8. Statutory family-related pay and sick pay rates increase

9. Statutory redundancy pay increases

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