January 9, 2018

Twenty Seventeen: What a Year You’ve Been for HR!

Goodbye to 2017, the year that just kept giving. 2017 was a corker for those in the HR/employment law community, serving up a variety of interesting cases and food for thought.

The withdrawal of Employment Tribunal fees

The withdrawal of Employment Tribunal fees has got to be the most spectacular event in the 2017 HR calendar and, as predicted, we are seeing more and more cases coming through every week which proves how prohibitive the fee regime was for potential Claimants.

As was the case back in 2013 before the fees, a number of claims lodged are of relatively no merit but still take time and money to deal with, even if the Claimant loses.

At Moorepay we have always had an excellent success rate. I’m predicting that by February there will be a significant increase, so we’re gearing up for a busy year!

The gig economy

But 2017 has kept on giving, with scores of interesting cases such as those gig economy cases following the 2016 Uber finding that their drivers were ‘workers’, having entitlement to statutory rights such as holiday pay, sick pay etc.

These cases prove that even the most sophisticated business models cannot get around the entitlement to the many statutory rights enjoyed by EU and UK workers.

More guidance on the latest HR & employment law legislation

Data dilemma – preparing for GDPR

Uber also shocked its users when it admitted concealing that 57 million customers had been hacked. Whilst not strictly an HR headline, as we all prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018, this admission demonstrates the vulnerability of companies to hacking and the scale of the risk.

Moorepay has just launched our ‘GDPR for Employers’ package to help businesses understand their needs and build out their GDPR HR requirements to be ready for 25th May.

Recent polls have shown nearly 70% of businesses have not even started preparing. These packages are in high demand, so make sure you get booked on in good time to get your organisation ready in advance of the legislation!

Holiday pay for independent contractors

We also saw Sash Window Workshop Ltd v King in which the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered the bombshell that independent contractors who were in fact workers were entitled to claim untaken holiday pay, firmly putting the onus on employers to get the status correct or risk facing unpaid holiday claims going back a number of years, in this case a period of 12 years.

Cases such as this create uncertainty for businesses and demonstrate the complexity of employment legislation and how businesses can operate in blissful ignorance of liabilities that can hit them out of the blue.

As always we are on hand to help our clients make these status assessments.

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About the author

Lisa Gillespie

Over 20 years Lisa has acted as a consultant and adviser on many HR issues and employment tribunals across public, private and third sector organisations. She has worked in most UK local authority areas on projects ranging from social care and health to training and conciliation arrangements. Lisa studied psychology before moving into employment law and HR after further study at Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford, and she is also qualified in project management and counselling.