Employment Newsletter – Autumn 2018

9th October 2018

A warm welcome to Blake Morgan’s Autumn newsletter, keeping you informed of the latest developments in Employment Law.

This year, October brought almost no legislative changes to Employment law, because the National Minimum Wage (which in the past has gone up on 1 October) was finally aligned with the National Living Wage. Both rates will now rise annually each April. However, on 30 September, the Criminal Finances Act 2017 came into force and this among other things, creates two new corporate criminal offences in respect of the facilitation of tax evasion. Please see our article on what this means for employers, who may need to make changes to employment contracts and policies amongst other procedures. We hope you find all the articles below informative and helpful.

We are delighted with the achievements of Blake Morgan and our team in the recently published prestigious Legal 500 directory. We have maintained our regional tier 1 rankings in Employment and Pensions and our existing ‘Leading Individuals’ (the Legal 500’s highest accolade). In addition our Pensions Partner John Hamilton, and our Employment Partner Paula Kathrens, have both been named ‘Leading Individuals’, and Rajiv Joshi and Rhiannon Jenkins were named ‘Next Generation Lawyers’. The directory results reflect our success over the last 12 months and we are proud that the expertise and professionalism of our lawyers have been recognised, with a very significant increase in ‘Recommended’ lawyers across the firm in addition to our continued high number of ‘Leading Individuals’.

Finally, we hope you will join us for our December Employment Club seminars and the dates and venues are set out below. Please do put the dates in your diary and look out for your invitation, which will be sent in the next couple of weeks.

Criminal Finances Act 2017 – implications for employers

On 30 September 2017 new criminal offences under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 came into force which will impact on employers’ contracts, policies and procedures.

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Employment Tribunal compensation changes

We look at some changes to ET compensation, including a recent ruling that “a week’s pay” incorporates an employer’s pension contributions, potentially affecting redundancy payments, amongst others.

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The relevance of previous incidents in disciplinary investigations

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently considered whether previous incidents, which did not lead to disciplinary action, could be referred to in an investigation report that led to an employee’s dismissal for gross misconduct.

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Update on GDPR: the Data Protection Bill

We provide a brief update on the impact on employers of some of the provisions in the Government’s Data Protection Bill which, when enacted, will sit alongside the General Data Protection Regulation.

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EAT confirms voluntary overtime payable in holiday pay

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay if it is paid sufficiently regularly to amount to normal pay.

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Monitoring private messages

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has reversed its decision that an employer was permitted to read an employee’s private communications on a work messenger account.

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How to discuss flexible retirement options

In an article for the CIPD, our employment experts discuss the benefits for employers of flexible retirement, and how to handle potential discussions of this nature with staff in a non-discriminatory way.

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Disparities in outcomes revealed by Government Audit

The recent publication of the Government’s Race Disparity Audit showed huge disparities in outcomes including lower employment levels for ethnic minorities.

IBM defined benefit pension scheme – Court of Appeal overturns High Court ruling on employer’s duty of good faith

The Court of Appeal has overturned the High Court’s ruling from 2014 that IBM acted in breach of its duty of good faith to the members when it closed two of its defined benefit pension schemes to future accrual of pension benefits in 2010.

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Upcoming events

Employment Club seminars – December
December’s Employment Club seminars are taking place on:
– 5 December in Cardiff
– 6 December in Reading
– 7 December in Swansea
– 13 December in Oxford
– 13 December in Southampton

Invitations with full details will be sent in the next couple of weeks and we look forward to seeing you. For information on our other events please click here.

Mock Workplace Mediation, London, 30 November

We are holding a Mock Workplace Mediation at our London office on Thursday 30 November 2017 led by Blake Morgan’s experienced Workplace Mediation team. Please do join us to discover the transformative effect on working relationships and the business benefits of resolving grievances collaboratively, rather than through traditional formal procedures.

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1 December -
Most people, whether employees or employers, will unfortunately have heard of occasions where people have tendered their resignations in response to workplace conflicts. Often these resignations happen immediately and are... Read More


28 November -
Important changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (“ROA”) came into force on 28 October 2023. These changes have reduced the period of time that community sentences and most... Read More


24 November -
With the festive season fast approaching, many employers have already finalised their plans for a staff party. Others may prefer a more spontaneous approach. Either way, there are many legal... Read More