5 employment law tips for January 2020

30 January 2020

We start the new year with some interesting employment law issues arising at the end of 2019, and some new things to get on board with for 2020:

  • Tupe can apply so that workers may transfer to the new business, not just employees (Dewhurst v Revisecatch & City Sprint, ET, November 2019) – we mentioned this in our employment law round up for 2019.
  • Vegetarianism v ethical veganism: recently, vegetarianism has been found not to be a philosophical belief (for purposes of claiming discrimination in employment) (Conisbee v Crossley Farms ltd but as a preliminary point in the as yet to be heard case of Jordi Casamitjana v the League Against Cruel Sports, it seems that ethical veganism is capable of being a philosophical belief and protected under the Equality Act 2010
  • The BBC has lost an equal pay claim in the Employment Tribunal brought by Samira Ahmed, a presenter on Newswatch. She was being paid £440 per episode while Jeremy Vine, for each episode of Points of View, received £3,000. The tribunal said her work was “like work” and the BBC was also unable to show that the difference in pay was because of a material factor which did not involve sex discrimination between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2018. After that date, the tribunal accepted that Ms Ahmed’s move to employment on a permanent staff contract explained any difference in pay and this was a non-discriminatory factor.
  • The right to a written statement of terms of employment will, from 6 April 2020, be extended to all workers and the statement must be given on the first day or before work begins. Also, more kinds of information must be given to the workers in the statement. Currently, only employees employed for at least one month have the right to a written statement of terms of employment, to be provided within 2 months of starting.
  • IR35 – big changes coming in on 6 April 2020 – we are preparing a longer article about this, but in essence, it will drastically affect off-payroll working applicable to individual contractors in the private sector who provide their services through personal service companies. Under the new rules, the responsibility for assessing whether or not such contractors should be considered as employees for tax purposes will pass to the client using the services.

We will be writing more about written statements of terms and IR35 in the coming weeks, so please check back.

Anne Mannix
Partner - Employment
Anne Mannix is a Partner Solicitor at Spencer West. She specialises in employment law, partnership law, business protection and the employment aspects of corporate deals, restructuring and redundancy.