Singapore: Tripartism Updates

Labour policy in Singapore has long been handled collaboratively by the Government, employee unions and employers in what is known as the tripartism movement. This movement has now been formalised through the setting up of a corporate body, Tripartite Alliance Limited (TAL), which will subsume the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Practices (TAFEP) as well as a newly created body, the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM).

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Filed under Employment-related claims- procedure and form, Jurisdiction: Asia, Workplace Health and Safety

UK: Gender pay gap reporting – government website for reporting data now available

The government website on which employers are to report their gender pay gap data has now been made available, here. Employers need to register and activate an account to use the site and will need to request a PIN, which the site says will be sent by post within a week. Our detailed client briefing on the new reporting duty, which has been updated for the final Acas/GEO guidance (see our blog post here), is available here.

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Filed under Jurisdiction: UK, Workplace culture, diversity and discrimination (including bullying and harassment)

Australia: Important interim order in a bullying application

A recent decision in the anti-bullying jurisdiction of the Fair Work Commission has highlighted the (potentially complicated) interaction between bullying complaints and an employer's internal investigation process.

In Lynette Bayly [2017] FWC 1886, the Commission made an interim order staying an employer’s internal investigation of a complaint (that is, preventing the employer from finalising a draft investigation report), preventing any disciplinary action in connection with the investigation and preventing termination of the complainant’s employment – until such time as the matter is determined.

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Filed under Employment-related claims- procedure and form, Jurisdiction: Australia

Australia: Health and Safety Frequency – April 2017

Welcome to Herbert Smith Freehills Health and Safety Frequency for April 2017, where we touch on legal developments in Australian health and safety from the last three months and give you some more personal insights into what we and our clients are up to in the health and safety space.

In this issue we cover:

  1. Top Trends Q1/2017

  2. Safety Decisions

  3. Legislative Update

  4. Other Legal Developments

  5. Three Questions With…Harold Downes

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Filed under Jurisdiction: Australia, Workplace Health and Safety

UK: Gender pay gap reporting – revised final Acas/GEO Guidance published

A revised, final version of the non-statutory guidance by Acas and the Government Equalities Office was published on 3 April 2017, available here.  Although the GEO had indicated that no substantive changes were expected to the original draft published a few days before formal approval of the final regulations, in fact there are a few significant changes helpfully addressing some of the grey areas highlighted by commentators.  Employers currently preparing for the first data capture covering the pay reference period including 5 April 2017 should review the guidance urgently. 

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Filed under Jurisdiction: UK, Remuneration (including bonus and incentive plans), Workplace culture, diversity and discrimination (including bullying and harassment)

Australia: The new NERR – another bargaining stumbling block?

From 3 April 2017, there is a new look to the most controversial form in enterprise bargaining – the notice of employee representational rights (NERR). The NERR is the form an employer must use to notify employees, when enterprise bargaining commences, of their right to be represented. And in recent times, this legislative form has received a lot more attention than you might expect.

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Filed under Industrial/workplace relations, collective bargaining, works councils, Jurisdiction: Australia

France: Important new decision in relation to the automatic transfer of employees

The French Supreme Court has recently issued an important new decision relating to the automatic transfer of employees in the case of asset transfers (the equivalent of the TUPE relations).

In this decision the Supreme Court held that the transfer of all employees of a company without a site works council would be treated as a "partial" transfer of employees where the company in question formed part of what is known as a UES (unique social and economic entity) with other companies.

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Filed under Business sales/transfers, Jurisdiction: France

UK: New Resources

  • The DWP has launched an employer "See Potential" toolkit to help employers retain and recruit workers from disadvantaged groups, including single parents, recovering addicts and care providers.
  • Acas has updated its guidance on employment status.
  • To coincide with ONS data breaking down suicide rates by occupation, Public Health England (PHE), Business in the Community (BITC) and Samaritans have joined forces to produce suicide prevention and postvention toolkits for employers, including advice on steps employers can take action to prevent suicides and support them and their teams when responding to the death of an employee caused by suicide.
  • The Chartered Institute of Building has published a toolkit for tackling modern slavery in the construction sector.

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Filed under Employment status (including agency workers, casual workers, use of contractors and 'dispatch' arrangements), Jurisdiction: UK, Resources, Workplace culture, diversity and discrimination (including bullying and harassment)

UK: Legislation – consultations on caste discrimination, electronic balloting and reforming the tribunal system

  • On 28 March the Government Equality Office published its long-awaited consultation on caste discrimination, announced back in September 2016. The consultation will run until 18 July 2017 and seeks views on whether preventing caste discrimination is best done by legislation expressly specifying caste as an aspect of race, or by relying on case law (given an EAT ruling that caste is already protected as it falls within the existing concept of "ethnic origin" to the extent that it relates to descent). The Government is concerned that the method chosen avoids "unhelpful and socially divisive consequences such as promoting, creating or entrenching ideas of caste or heightening caste consciousness where they do not previously exist". The Government asks whether there are aspects of caste which are not related to descent and which therefore would not be protected by case law. It is also concerned that, if aspects of the public sector equality duty and positive action provisions apply to caste (either because case-law is relied on, or because they are not expressly disapplied on legislating for caste), this might encourage employers to ask people about their caste, which the Government does not support on the basis it is potentially intrusive and socially divisive.

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Filed under Employment-related claims- procedure and form, Jurisdiction: UK, Workplace culture, diversity and discrimination (including bullying and harassment)

UK: April 2017 changes – apprenticeship levy, tribunal compensation limits, national minimum wage, statutory benefits and immigration skills charge

From 6 April 2017 UK employers with an annual pay bill of or over £3 million will be required to pay an apprenticeship levy at a rate equivalent to 0.5% of their payroll costs, subject to an offset allowance of £15,000. Employers in England that pay the levy will be able to access funding through a digital service which is expected to open from 1 May 2017. Updated guidance is available here. The offence of wrongly advertising work as a statutory apprenticeship also came into force on 1 April 2017.

From 6 April 2017, the cap on the unfair dismissal compensatory award will increase from £78,962 to £80,541 and the cap on weekly pay (used to calculate the unfair dismissal basic award and statutory redundancy pay) will increase from £479 to £489. This gives a maximum unfair dismissal award of £95,211. Note that since 29 July 2013 there has been an additional cap on the compensatory award of 12 months’ pay.

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Filed under International mobility (including secondments, migrant workers, territorial jurisdiction), Jurisdiction: UK, Termination of employment, Workplace flexibility and family-friendly rights