PDT Solicitors - What's Occurring: 2019's Employment & HR News So Far

It's been a busy year already for employment and HR law - we've put the key updates in one place so all you need to do is read on:

Employment Rates - Annual Increases

To start, employment rates and thresholds had their annual increases in April. These include:

  • 1 April 2019: National Minimum/Living Wage. National Living Wage (for ages 25+) increased to £8.21 per hour (from £7.83).
  • 6 April 2019: Statutory Sick Pay increased to £94.25 per week (from £92.05).
  • 7 April 2019: Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Pay increased to £148.68 per week (from £145.18). 

The government has a full breakdown of rates and thresholds for employers

Five in Five

  • The Information Commissioner's Office ("ICO") issued 103 monetary penalties (from £400 - £4,000) in 2018 for organisations who didn't pay the data protection fee (ICO Website).
  • Confirmed: an employee has a right to a Section 1 Statement of Employment Particulars (due within two months for anyone employed for at least one month) even when employed for less than two months (Stefanko & Others v Maritime Hotel Ltd) - also, from April 2020 this must be provided by the first day of employment.
  • ICO has fined Bounty UK £400k for sharing the personal data of +14m individuals without informing them they might do so (breaching the Data Protection Act 1998).
  • An employee's belief in Scottish independence can be sufficient to constitute a philosophical belief and a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 (the case, McEleny v MoD, will now consider whether discrimination actually occurred).
  • The government consultation on non-disclosure agreements closes on 29 April - plus a number of UK universities are the latest employers accused of using gagging orders regarding bullying, discrimination and sexual misconduct complaints (BBC News).
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