ACAS publishes research on conciliation

by Laurie Anstis on May 23, 2016

ACAS has just published a lengthy research paper on the effect of its conciliation processes in employment tribunal claims.

There is an enormous amount of material in the report for those interested in employment tribunal statistics. Particularly interesting in the light of the current debate around tribunal fees are the reasons given (at p66 – 69) for claimants withdrawing their cases – 27% said they thought they would not win or that it would be a waste of time, 20% said that the tribunal fees (presumably hearing fees) were off-putting and 17% said they found the process too stressful.

The sample is small, but this represents some of the best information we have about reasons for the withdrawal of claims.

Government consultation on tips and gratuities

by Laurie Anstis on May 4, 2016

BIS has launched a consultation on tipping, gratuities, cover and service charges.

This follows on from last year’s call for evidence, which the government says showed “broad agreement that intervention is required to improve the treatment and transparency of these payments“.  Read the rest of this entry »

Call for evidence on non-compete clauses

by Laurie Anstis on April 25, 2016

The Government announced over the weekend plans for a call for evidence on non-compete clauses.

The announcement says that “there have been suggestions that they [non-compete clauses] can hinder start-ups from hiring the best and brightest talent, so the government is asking for views from individuals and employers on whether this type of practice is acting as a barrier to innovation and employment.

At present the announcement links to the government’s wider “call for ideas” as part of the “National Innovation Plan”, although this does not specifically relate to non-compete clauses. There is a later section in the announcement suggesting that a separate call for evidence on non-compete clauses will be launched shortly.

Barrister Jamie Anderson has written on the announcement here.

Vacancies on the Law Society’s Employment Law Committee

by Laurie Anstis on April 14, 2016

The Law Society’s Employment Law Committee is currently recruiting new members.

This is a great opportunity for solicitors with experience in employment law to contribute to improvements in employment law and to promote the work of solicitors in the field of employment law. Almost all the other specialist committees of the Law Society are recruiting too, and full details of all vacancies are here.

All applications are welcome, but the committee is particularly interested in applications from candidates with experience of working internationally and candidates who practice in Wales.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 20 April 2016.

Budget 2016 – changes to taxation of termination payments, grandparents’ leave

by Laurie Anstis on March 16, 2016

The Chancellor has announced proposed changes to the taxation of termination payments in today’s budget.

From April 2018, the government will “tighten the scope of the exemption to prevent manipulation” and in particular make employer national insurance contributions chargeable on payments over £30,000.

The government has previously consulted on simplifying tax and national insurance contributions on termination payments. It is not clear how the Chancellor’s proposals will relate to that, but the reference in the budget documents to a tax-free limit of £30,000 suggests that that is still intended to be in effect at April 2018.

The details known so far are at para 1.147 here.

Para 1.136 of the same document proposes the extension of shared parental leave to working grandparents, and what appears to an overall review of administration for shared parental leave.

Para 1.147 deals with changes to salary sacrifice arrangements (while permitting most mainstream salary sacrifice arrangements) and para 1.149 says that public sector bodies will be responsible for “paying the right tax” when they engage contractors. Exactly how that will work remains to be seen.