Author Archives: Anna Moyle

You’re paid how much?!

Anna Moyle

 

If you’re a woman reading this…

… could you use your time better if you stopped and instead flicked through the job vacancies at Channel 5, Unilever UK or Ocado?

Why do I ask this, and why them?

The answer is that they are 3 of the very few companies (just 14% of larger employers) that have a gender pay gap figure in favour of women.

April 2018 was the first time that large (250 employees or more) private and public sector employers were required to make public their gender pay gap figures.

By the time the deadline had passed at midnight on 4 April more than 10,000 employers had published this data.

Nobody was surprised to learn that men are paid more than women.  The figures show that 3/4 of large employers pay their male employees more.  There is not a single sector where women can expect to be paid more than (or even the same as) men.

We’ve known for a long time that what women get paid, or rather don’t get paid, is an issue.  The Equal Pay Act was introduced in 1970 so has a claim as the oldest employment related legislation on the books (now incorporated into the Equality Act 2010).

But be careful before jumping to conclusions.  The aim of Equal Pay legislation is to ensure women are paid the same as men if they are carrying out work of equal value.  However the gender pay gap data does not measure this.  Instead, it reveals the salary gap between men and women based on median pay.

In other words if the men and women working at Ryan Air (a company that reported one of the largest gender pay differences) stood in separate lines in order of salary, the woman in the middle of her line earns 71.8% less than the man in the middle of his.

So the gender pay gap data says more about the preponderance of women in part time work and of men in more senior positions than it does about whether employers are breaking the law on equal pay.

So before you resign and apply to work at Unilever UK you need to factor in that their figures reflect the number of men in lower paid manufacturing jobs.  Ryan Air’s gender pay gap (albeit high even for the aviation industry) is also evidence of the fact that only 8 of its 554 highly paid pilots are women compared to 2/3 of its cabin staff.

Employers will have to publish the same information this time next year (and every year thereafter) so we should be able to monitor their progress, or lack of it.

However, 10% of large employers have still not complied with their obligations to publish data.  Commentators are also concerned that the ECHR does not have sufficient resources or powers to force reluctant employers to publish or punish them if they refuse (although its first investigation is apparently due to start in June 2018).

The system may not be perfect and the figures only reveal part of a complex picture, but no other country has initiated such a comprehensive data collection exercise on this issue.

The CEO of the Fawcett Society (which describes itself as the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights) sees gender pay gap reporting as a “game changer” no less because it forces employers to look at themselves and understand their organisations and it prompts employees to ask some hard questions”.

The Equality Act in 2010 made it difficult for employers to enforce the (once common) contractual provisions designed to prevent employees from discussing pay.  With gender pay gap data easily accessible and the higher media profile being given to such issues, employers need to be prepared to have far more conversations with their (usually female) employees questioning their pay when compared with colleagues of the opposite sex.

Those conversations may not be easy for the employer. Just ask the BBC.

In the meantime the rest of us will be watching Ryan Air…

Zero Hours, Zero Tolerance?

Anna Moyle

Zero Hours, Zero Tolerance?

There has been unease for some time over the use by employers of a “zero hours contract”.

Now, for the first time, employees and workers working under these contracts have some proper redress against employers who try to enforce provisions aimed at prohibiting their zero hour employees or workers from working for other people.

The term “zero hours contract” is used to cover various types of flexible or informal working arrangements.  Typically however it refers to a contract where the employer is under no obligation to provide the employee or worker with work.

Contractual provisions that try and prevent zero hours workers from working for others are known as “exclusivity clauses” and, although often included in zero hours contracts, they have been void since 26 May 2015.

Penalising this practice is what the government is now clamping down on:  following its consultation exercise in 2015:

–          From 11 January 2016 any dismissal of a zero hours employee will be automatically unfair if the principal reason is that he/she breached a clause in their contract prohibiting them from working for another employer.  There is no qualifying period of continuous employment required before such a claim can be brought.

–          Likewise, it is also unlawful to submit a zero hours’ worker (so not just an employee) to a detriment if they breach an exclusivity clause and work for another employer.

Click here for a link to The Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hour Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015.

The new regulations are consistent with the government’s stated positon that zero hours contracts in themselves are not an issue, as they can serve a very useful and proper purpose in allowing flexibility where it is needed for both employers and individuals.

However, “they should not be considered as an alternative to proper business planning and should not be used as a permanent arrangement if it is not justifiable“.

Employers who use zero hours contracts should check their contracts and remove any exclusivity provisions in order to avoid the suggestion that any termination of employment or treatment of workers that could be might be viewed as detrimental is in some way connected to an attempt to enforce an exclusivity clause.

 

And you thought holidays were supposed to be relaxing…

Anna Moyle

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) recently announced their decision in 3 separate cases which all looked at the issue of how to properly calculate a worker’s holiday pay. As a result the cases were heard together and the EAT was able to give a single decision. You have probably heard plenty of talk about this already as the EAT’s decision was of such importance to businesses and workers that even the national press has been following the story.

To put it simply, the EAT had been asked to decide how holiday pay should be calculated and in particular whether certain types of payments, such as overtime and commission, should be included in that calculation in addition to a worker’s basic salary. In the event that workers may have been historically underpaid holiday pay, the EAT also needed to decide in respect of how far back a period potentially as long ago as 16 years they should be able to bring claims.

The very real risk to businesses was that they had been historically calculating holiday pay at too low a rate with the result that millions of workers had potential claims for unlawful deductions of wages stretching back for at least 6 years and possibly even as far back as 16 years, which is when the Working Time Regulations became law.

The EAT’s decision means that substantial claims for back payments of holiday entitlements are unlikely, at which businesses can breath a very big sigh of relief. However, many businesses will now have to pay more generous holiday pay because they will need to change the way they calculate this.

To help your business decide how to calculate its holiday pay liability (past and future) and to help you navigate the remaining uncertainties please read the attached guidance.

To read our full briefing note Click Here

Increases to the National Minimum Wage

Anna Moyle

There is growing pressure from many quarters to introduce a living wage. All of the main parties at their recent conferences made promises aimed at improving the financial position of those on the national minimum wage (“NMW”).

In line with Vince Cable’s speech to the Liberal Democrats, BIS has already announced that the government is to propose to the Low Pay Commission that there should be a single NMW rate for apprentices and 16-17 year olds, with the apprenticeship rate rising as a result by just over £1 to match the rate for 16-17 year olds.

Ed Milliband said that the Labour Party will increase the NMW to £8.00 an hour, which is just under the amount calculated as being the London Living Wage of £8.80. However, the introduction of a living wage is clearly not going to happen soon and in the meantime the NMW has increased from 1 October 2014 as follows:-

  • Adult rate – increased 19p from £6.31 to £6.50 per hour

  • Rate for 18-20 year olds increased 10p from £5.03 to £5.13 per hour

  • Rate for 16-17 year olds increased 7p from £3.72 to £3.79 per hour

  • Rate for apprentices increased 5p from £2.68 to £2.73 per hour

Flexibility at breaking point, a ban on exclusive zero hours contracts.

Anna Moyle

The government is set to ban the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.

Do you have strong views about zero hours contracts?  A lot of people do. The government launched a consultation on their use (or misuse) in December 2013. By the time that consultation closed in March 2014, it had received over a record breaking 36,000 responses.

Zero hours contracts are contracts under which an employer does not guarantee to provide any work and only pays the worker for work carried out. Research conducted by CIPD found that 16% of zero hours workers felt that their employer frequently did not provide them with enough work.

Whilst zero hours contracts have been the subject of negative comments, the government made it clear from the outset that they were not looking to ban their use entirely. Vince Cable has said “Zero hours contracts have a place in today’s labour market, they offer valuable flexible working opportunities for students, older people and other people looking to top up their income and find work that suits their personal circumstances“.

However, the government has now announced that it will use the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill to crack down on those “unscrupulous employers [who] abuse the flexibility that these contracts offer to the detriment of their workers“.

The Bill will ban the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts. This should please the 83% of respondents to the consultation who recommended the government do just that.

The Government’s aim is to make it impossible for employers to say: “Although we may not give you work, you still can’t work for anyone else without our permission” and stop workers on zero hours contracts from working for other employers, or from doing so only with their employer’s consent. This will apply to all existing and new zero hours contracts.

In addition, the government will work with business representatives and unions to develop a code of practice by the end of 2014 on the fair use of zero hours contracts. A further consultation will focus on how to best prevent rogue employers evade the exclusivity ban by, for example, offering one-hour fixed-term contracts, and the issue of redress should this law be broken.

The Bill was presented to parliament on 25 June 2014. It is now being scrutinised by the Public Bill Committee, who are expected to report back by 6 November 2014. If you would like to read the bill, which contains the first legislative attempt to define a zero hours contract, click here:-

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2014-2015/0011/15011.pdf

If you are one of the 83% who pushed for the proposed change or simply an “unscrupulous employer” who wants full rein to take advantage of a flexible labour market, then you can submit your views to the Commons Public Bill Committee.

Good Leavers, Bad Leavers & Guilty Employers

Anna Moyle

 

Employers, be careful. Do you treat your retiring employees as good leavers? If so, do you allow them to retain valuable accrued benefits linked to incentive schemes? If your answer is “yes” to both questions, you may be guilty of unlawful age discrimination against younger employees who choose to leave for reasons other than retirement. You might also need to widen your definition of who is a good leaver as a result.

Why is there a problem?

Employers often divide employees into two groups; “good leavers” and “bad leavers”. Employers often treat good leavers more generously than bad leavers, by allowing good leavers to retain the benefit of accrued entitlements under incentive schemes. These entitlements, typically bonus payments or share options. are often valuable to the employee. The employer can then use them as a pressure point in any termination negotiations. Employers also see this as a way of securing employee loyalty, if only by bribery (and with varying degrees of success).

Good leavers are usually employees whose employment ended to the benefit of their employer (for example redundancy) or who would not normally have chosen to leave and whose conduct is not open to criticism (for example genuine cases of ill health). Bad leavers are usually employees who leave to join a competitor, so not to the benefit of the employer, or whose employment is terminated because of misconduct, negligence or poor performance.

Traditionally employees were expected to retire when they reached a given age and so were regarded as employees who may not have chosen to leave, but whose conduct could not be criticised; in other words good leavers. However, since the abolition of the default retirement age in 2011 most employers no longer have a compulsory retirement age. This is because unless they are able to objectively justify having one, they will be guilty of unlawful age discrimination.

Some technicalities 

To put this in context, it’s helpful to remember how an employer can be found guilty of age discrimination and what they can do to defend themselves.

In summary, employers can only treat employees less favourably because of age (direct age discrimination) or impose a practice, criterion or provision (a “PCP”) which places employees of a certain age or age group at a disadvantage (indirect age discrimination) if they are able to show that their actions and/or the PCP are “a proportionate means” of achieving “a legitimate aim“. In other words, the employer must be able to “objectively justify” their conduct or practices.

Retirement clearly affects older employees. As a result most HR professionals are generally alert to the threat of direct age discrimination claims when dealing with retirement. However, it can be easy to overlook the risks associated with retirement-related practices that we are all so familiar with that we do not question them. One of those practices is to allow an employee who chooses to retire to retain valuable benefits they might otherwise have lost out on. This (for laudable reasons) rewards past loyal service, but also financially rewards them for retiring. However offering financial rewards for employees who retire (i.e. older employees) will be indirect discrimination that will need to be objectively justified.

How can an employer explain and justify their actions?

Any employer who answered “yes” to the questions in the opening paragraph of this blog will therefore need to answer a third question: why allow retiring employees to retain valuable benefits, which other (usually younger) leavers may lose out on?

In order to avoid amounting to unlawful age discrimination, the employer’s answer will need to have two parts: first, the reason for retaining benefits must amount to a “legitimate aim“; and secondly, it must be a “proportionate means” of achieving that legitimate aim (i.e. there must be objective justification of the employer’s plans).

Two examples of possible legitimate aims are the wish to encourage loyalty by rewarding employees who choose to end their careers with the employer rather than go and work for a competitor, and the wish to maintain workforce morale by not having to resort to performance management and capability procedures if older employees choose to retire instead.

But whilst both of these reasons may amount to a legitimate aim, neither would necessarily be a proportionate means of achieving that aim. Consider this analysis instead:

–          encouraging loyalty is, ostensibly, a legitimate aim. But there is an obvious flaw in the method. It is not only those employees who leave by reason of retirement who will not be competing with the employer. Allowing retiring employees to access a financial reward that other leaving employees are deprived of, even when those other employees have no intention of competing against their former employer, could well be disproportionate. If loyalty is the legitimate aim relied upon, then employers who want to minimise the risk of age discrimination claims need to consider extending the definition of a good leaver so as to minimise the discriminatory impact on younger employees. Employers should think of allowing those employees, who leave of their own accord but who are not retiring, to also retain the right to access accrued benefits under any incentive schemes, so long as their intended activities pose no competitive threat to the employer.

–         performance management and capability procedures will not be seen to be intrinsically incompatible with maintaining workforce morale. The suggestion that older employees are not able to withstand, or need to be excused from the same robust performance criteria that younger employees are subjected to is also (uncomfortably) suggestive of stereotyping.

The point is this: employers will not be able to leap the objective justification hurdle if they can achieve their aim in a non- (or less) discriminatory manner, or if their chosen method does not achieve the stated aim or the discriminatory impact of the method outweighs the benefit.

An Employer’s next steps

So, if you treat retiring employees as good leavers and allow them to access accrued benefits as a result, you will need to begin by asking yourself why you do this and then consider whether that reason would be enough to objectively justify any discrimination.

Remember that whether or not your aims are legitimate and your methods are proportionate will always be looked at on a case by case basis by reference to each particular employer and their business circumstances. It is not practicable therefore to apply hard and fast rules.

As a result of your analysis you may decide to include as a good leaver those employees who choose to leave, but whose subsequent activities will not pose a threat to your organisation. But what happens if, contrary to expectations, an employee goes to work for a competitor, either immediately or after a break? How long must an employee remain out of the market to remain a good leaver? How will you retain the power to re-designate an employee as a bad leaver if this happens? Will you want to claw back (see our earlier blog here) any additional monies paid?

It would therefore be good practice to have a paper trail showing that you have given thought to any potential discrimination, the grounds upon which you think it may be justified and the rationale behind any steps you take to address it. This should also identify your willingness to retain discretion (and exercise it reasonably and consistently) to deal with particular cases.

And the lessons? Standard practices derived from seemingly the best of intentions may in fact get an employer into trouble. The possible cure will also throw up a number of issues in respect of which employers may well be advised to seek advice.

To know or not to know? When should an employer know that an employee is disabled?

Anna Moyle

What should an employer do with advice received from occupational health?

An employer cannot rely on not knowing about an employee’s disability to avoid making reasonable adjustments, or to defend a discrimination claim, if it should have known that the employee was disabled. Where an employee does not want to divulge they are disabled, or is not even aware that they are, this can cause particular difficulties. A responsible employer will therefore obtain medical evidence (often from the employer’s OH doctor) if it has concerns about an employee whose behaviour could be because of underlying health problems. But what the employer should then do with the information in an OH report is not always so obvious.

An employer must form its own opinion as to whether an employee is disabled, based on an assessment of the employee’s condition and the implications for that employee. Providing relevant information to, and asking appropriate questions of, the OH doctor in order to obtain a focused report is only one step (but an important one) to help the employer form that opinion. Tribunals are, however, likely to be sympathetic towards employers who reach (reasonable) conclusions based only on partial information, where an employee has refused to co-operate with obtaining medical evidence.

Two recent cases provide some useful guidance. When read together, they emphasise that employers cannot simply delegate to OH the task of deciding whether or not an employee is disabled and if there are any reasonable adjustments that should be made. These are the cases:

Cox v Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Mr Cox was dismissed following several incidents of aggressive behaviour at work. By the time his subsequent claim for disability discrimination had reached the Employment Tribunal the Fire Service had accepted that he was disabled by reason of bipolar disorder. However, the EAT upheld the finding of the Tribunal, that the Fire Service did not know, and could not reasonably have been expected to know, at the time of the dismissal that Mr Cox was disabled.

Prior to his dismissal Mr Cox had been seen by OH twice, but there was no firm diagnosis of his condition. He had stated in a pre-employment medical questionnaire that he did suffer from mild depression, but indicated it did not affect his ability to carry out day to day activities. He subsequently told the Fire Service that he was suffering from severe depression, which prompted the first referral to OH, which advised that he was unlikely to be disabled for the purposes of the relevant legislation. Prior to his second and last referral to OH and following another incident of aggressive behaviour, Mr Cox informed his employer that he had been suffering from bipolar disorder for a number of months. But OH advised that such a diagnosis could not be confirmed without the benefit of further reports from Mr Cox’s GP and specialist doctor.

It was at this point (following advice from his lawyer who was advising him in respect of a potential personal injury claim) that Mr Cox withdrew his consent for any such medical reports to be provided. He was subsequently dismissed.

Both the Tribunal and the EAT were influenced by Mr Cox’s refusal to cooperate with his employer’s attempts to obtain medical evidence. They found that the Fire Service had asked all the right questions and done all that could be reasonably expected of it to try and find out whether or not Mr Cox had a disability. He therefore failed in his claim.

Gallop v Newport City Council

Mr Gallop had complained of stress (including raising a grievance), taken periods of sickness absence and been seen several times by OH before he was dismissed by Newport City Council. OH had advised that they did not consider him to be disabled.

Both the Tribunal and the EAT sided with the employer which, they said, was entitled to reply on the OH report. “Wrong”, said the Court of Appeal which held that an employer must reach its own factual judgment and not simply rely on a report from OH. It held that the question for a Tribunal to ask is whether at the time of dismissal the employer had actual or constructive knowledge of the facts constituting an employee’s disability. It is not, therefore, appropriate simply to look unquestioningly at any opinion expressed by OH.

An influencing factor on the Court of Appeal decision was the quality of the OH report provided to the Council. The report simply stated that they did not consider Mr Gallop to be disabled. No attempt was made to explain the reasoning behind that opinion by referring to the usual legal test, in other words did Mr Gallop’s condition amount to “a physical or mental impairment that had a substantial and long term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities“. The Court of Appeal was so unimpressed by the OH report that it described it as “worthless“.

Practical steps for Employers

  1. Continue to obtain medical evidence at an early stage whenever dealing with an employee whose work may be affected by a medical condition. It is usually best practice to get a report from OH even if they in turn may require additional evidence from the employee’s own doctor(s)
  2. Give thought to the information provided to OH and the questions asked of them as this may affect the quality, and use, of any subsequent OH report. Has sufficient detail been provided so that OH can understand the nature of both the employee’s role and the impact of their condition? Ask OH to confirm whether they need anymore information.
  3. Ask questions of OH that will allow you, as the employer, to assess whether the employee is likely to fulfill the legal definition of disabled.
  4. Ask OH for their opinion as to whether or not the employee is disabled and ask them to give their answer by reference to the various criteria of the legal definition.
  5. If OH consider the employee to be disabled you will need to assume this is indeed the case unless there are very good reasons for saying otherwise. If, however, OH do not think the employee is disabled, do not accept this finding without first carrying out your own assessment of the facts (and making a note of this).

  6. Always explain to an employee why you want to obtain a medical report and the possible implications if they do not co-operate. If an employee still refuses to cooperate and hampers attempts to obtain appropriate medical evidence, make sure this is clearly documented.

This is a timely reminder that claims are brought against employers not against their advisors; and it is almost certain that OH will have terms and conditions that avoid liability by requiring an employer not to rely on its report without question. Remember: it is your decision.

Watch Out! – Phones have ears…

Anna Moyle

An employee’s secret recordings of private discussions at disciplinary and grievance hearings may be admissible as evidence in subsequent tribunal hearings.

Can recordings of private discussions that have been made secretly by an employee who is taking part in a disciplinary or grievance hearing be used in an employment tribunal hearing?

In the recent case of Punjab Bank v. Gosain, the EAT decided that the answer is – “yes they can” – particularly if the panel members’ private comments were not part of their deliberations regarding the matters to be determined by them at the grievance and disciplinary hearings.

An employment tribunal has a wide discretion to determine whether evidence is admissible and, if evidence is relevant to the issues, will generally rule that it is admissible.  However, even where the evidence is relevant, it may rule that it is not admissible on grounds of public policy. In this case, the EAT balanced the general rule of the admissibility of relevant evidence against the public policy interest of preserving the confidentiality of private deliberations.

Ms Gosain resigned from the bank in 2013.  Prior to her resignation she attended a grievance hearing and a disciplinary hearing. She secretly recorded both the public discussions at the hearings and the private conversations of the panels. The comments alleged to have been made during the private conversations included the managing director giving an instruction to dismiss Ms Gosain, and the manager who heard the grievance stating that he was deliberately ignoring key issues raised by Ms Gosain as part of her grievance.

Ms Gosain subsequently disclosed the secret recordings to the bank as part of her employment tribunal claims of sexual harassment, sex discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal. The bank objected to the admissibility of the recordings of the private panel discussions, but the employment tribunal disagreed and admitted the evidence.

In its appeal against the employment tribunal’s decision to allow the recordings to be used, the bank referred to the EAT case of Chairman and Govenors of Amwell View School v Dogherty where it was held that covert recordings of an actual disciplinary hearing could be allowed, but (for public policy reasons) not of the disciplinary panel’s private deliberations.

In dismissing the bank’s appeal, the EAT held that the tribunal was right to distinguish the current circumstances from the Dogherty case and emphasised that the private comments recorded did not form part of the panel’s deliberations in respect of the matters to be decided by them.

Implications

So what can employers do?  The answer is probably “not a lot” – other than always to remind the panel members at disciplinary and grievance hearings of the risk of any of their conversations being recorded and to act accordingly.

It will still be prudent for employers to ensure that disciplinary and grievance policies contain express prohibitions against recording hearings without consent, but this would not have assisted the bank in this case, and the recordings would still have been admissible. In an age where employees can record meetings with their mobile phones, employers just need to be alert to the risk and make sure any panel discussions, private or otherwise are appropriate.

Collective Consultation – the latest instalment on when to do so

Anna Moyle

When will employers who want to make redundancies have to consult on a collective basis?

We don’t know.

But the European Court of Justice has been asked to consider the Woolworths case.

So we still won’t know for some time.

The Court of Appeal has referred the case of USDAW v Ethel Austin Ltd  to the European Court of Justice. The case is more commonly known as “the Woolworths Case” and is potentially of great significance to any employer who may want to make 20 or more employees redundant.

Depending upon what the ECJ says, such redundancy exercises may be far more likely to trigger the requirements of collective consultation, and employers may have to consult for longer, and more widely, before any redundancies can take effect.

To recap: when Woolworths and Ethel Austin went into administration in 2008 it was necessary to make most of the work force redundant. Current UK legislation (TULCRA 1992) requires an employer to consult on a collective basis when it is “proposing to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less“. In line with what had been accepted practice for many years each Woolworths store was considered to be “one establishment”. As a result there would only be a requirement to consult collectively in those stores that had more than 20 employees. In fact the administrator did not carry out any consultation at all. However, it was only those employees who worked at the larger stores (i.e. with 20 or more employees) who were found by the employment tribunal to be entitled to protective awards (of between 60 and 90 days’ actual pay). This meant employees who had worked out of the smaller stores, which were sometimes only a short distance from the larger stores, missed out. The USDAW union appealed on behalf of these employees.

Following a hearing in May 2013, the Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that employers should not be able to dodge collective consultation obligations by scattering redundancies around different locations. This decision was reached on the basis that the words “at one establishment” in TULCRA are inconsistent with the relevant EU Collective Redundancies Directive 98/59/EC and so a purposive interpretation should be applied to TULCRA. The immediate result of the EAT’s decision was that 1,210 former employees of Ethel Austin and 3,233 at Woolworths became entitled to a protective award. With these companies having gone into administration, and the tax payer  being liable for the bill, the government appealed.

The Court of Appeal has decided to ask the ECJ to consider 2 distinct issues; the construction of the relevant provisions of the EU Collective Redundancies Directive (in particular the meaning of “establishment”) and whether the Directive has direct effect against the Secretary of State. It is likely that the ECJ will hear the case at the same time as another one dealing with similar issues and referred by the Northern Ireland Industrial Tribunal (Lyttle and Others v Bluebird UK Bidco 2 Limited).

What the ECJ says will be of great importance for all employers with 20 or more employees, so watch out for further updates. In the meantime, when deciding whether the requirement to consult on a collective basis has been triggered, prudent employers should disregard the issue of whether or not the employees at risk are based at the same location.

 

Zero hours contracts still in the news

Anna Moyle

Anyone who read my last blog on zero hours contracts may have been surprised to hear recently that a bill aimed at banning the use of such contracts will shortly have its second reading before parliament. Don’t worry. The Zero Hours Contracts Bill is a private members bill and so is unlikely to become law.

The Government is still seeking views on the use of such contracts until 13 March and has already indicated that it is not minded to ban the use of such contracts.

For anyone interested in these things the wording of the private members bill is now available to read, here:-

 http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2013-14/zerohourscontracts.html