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Legal E-Bulletin - Getting back to the fundamentals of employment law

July Employment Law Bulletin

Employment law issues featured strongly in the general election campaign, such as protecting and enhancing workers’ rights, the gig economy and the just about managing. In any event, these issues seemed to have been squeezed to the edge.
Nevertheless, it is easy to forget some of the more basic and fundamental issues of employment laws.
Middlesex University have recently published an interim report which states that there is a significant amount on non-payment of wages in the UK. An estimated £1.2 billion of wages of £1.5 billion of holiday pay remain unpaid each year. One in 12 workers do not receive a payslip and one in 20 receive no paid holiday.
There are fundamental protections in place for unlawful deductions, the non-payment of wages of holiday pay and the right to receive an itemised pay statement. Employment Tribunals have taken a very protective stance towards workers and employees in relation to these matters, as they are at the heart of the employment relationship.
With abuse clearly taking place against a backdrop of strong legal protection, why is it so widespread? The obvious answer is enforcement. It is common sense that if an employee has not been paid £300, would they invest £160 in a tribunal issue fee and a further £250 hearing fee to recover their wages, and that is before you get onto the issue of enforcing a judgment.
It is therefore paramount that despite limited changes to employment law in the coming months; it is advisable businesses look again at the routine day-to-day practice of the law and ensure it enforces an individual’s basic employment rights.

General Election
The hung parliament has thrown doubt over most of the proposals outlined by the major parties in their manifestos. However all parties were agreed on the point to improve workers’ rights and this may be one of the few policy areas that prove to be workplace. We may see a broad consensus on issues such as zero hours contracts, reform of the gig economy and the reporting on the pay gap between different ethnic backgrounds.
Another area with potential cross-party support might be the repeal or reduction of Employment Tribunal fees. Although the Conservatives did not mention this in their manifesto, the Government admitted prior to the election that the fall in tribunal claims was greater than originally envisaged. This might lead to a broadening of the current fee remission system.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Sally Morris at or on 01905 610410. 

The Employment Law and HR Services Team at mfg have won the Professional Discipline Award at the annual Worcestershire Law Society Awards.
"The award comes as a result of our department’s renowned reputation for our services to large employers, small businesses and for employees. Over the past 12 months, we have successfully grown our number of clients by 25%. We have also continued to host and expand upon the variety and seminars and interactive workshops to help guide business leaders and directors through complicated employment law matters.
To be recognised at Worcestershire’s top employment and HR legal department reflects our hard work and the results we achieve for our clients, not just in the past 12 months, but over several years. We are delighted with the award in what is already proving to be another successful year."

Sally Morris (centre) with the Employment
Law and HR Services Team from mfg

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