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What changes will we see to Employment Law in 2016?

3rd February 2016

Every year seems to be a busy year in the employment law world and 2016 is set to be no different. We have already seen a range of legislation coming in to force in January.

On 1 January 2016, sections 154-7 of the Small Businesses, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (“SBEEA 2015”) came into force. These sections enable the Government to make regulations requiring the clawback of public sector exit payments. Additionally, section 148 of the SBEEA 2015 came into force, empowering the Secretary of State to make regulations requiring prescribed persons to report annually the anonymous disclosures made to them by whistle-blowers.

On 11 January 2016, the Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hour Contracts (Redress) Regulations came into force. The Regulations provide that a zero hour contract employee is protected against detriment and unfair dismissal in the event that they breach a contractual clause prohibiting them from working for another employer. 

Below, we have set out some other key events that we will be updating you on in 2016:

  • Further consideration of tribunal fees is expected during 2016.

  • The Government has plans to extend shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents by 2018. It is likely that the consultation on grandparental leave will take place in the first half of 2016.

  • In February 2016, the Government intends to publish its response to the consultation on regulation of recruitment agencies and further restrictions on overseas recruitment.

  • In March 2016, the Senior Managers’ Certification Scheme is due to come into force.

  • In April 2016, the National Living Wage is due to be introduced.

  • In October 2016, a ban on corporate directors in due to come into force.

We are also anticipating some interesting case decisions.

In the first half of 2016, the Court of Appeal are expected to hear cases on:

  • Employment status (Windle v Arada and another) (Pimlico Plumbers Ltd v Smith);

  • Changing terms and conditions (Sparks v Department for Transport); and 

  • Agency Workers (Moran and others v Ideal Cleaning Services Ltd).

In the second half of 2016, the Court of Appeal are expected to hear cases on:

  • Whistleblowing (Chesterton Global Ltd and anor v Nurmohamed); and

  • Disability Discrimination (First Group PLC v Paulley).

We also expect the EAT to hand down the long awaited decision in British Gas Trading v Lock and another in the coming months.

We will keep you up to date with all of these changes. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries. 

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