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So far Probert Legal Limited has created 4 entries.

Mental Health in the Workplace

10th October 2017 was World Mental Health Day, a day for showing support for better mental health. With one in four adults likely to have a mental health issues in any given year, people are becoming aware of the need to look after their own wellbeing.

Work pressures can have a significant impact on mental health. The World Federation of Mental Health, who promote mental wellness at work, recently reported that 6 out of 10 employees suffering with depression say that they hide the condition from their employer (as surveyed by Silver Ribbon Singapore).

In the UK, many employers are alert to the scale of poor mental health in the workplace, but accordingly to a new report, more still needs to be done. The Mental Health at Work Report 2017 is the second National Employee Mental Wellbeing Survey undertaken by Business in the Community (in partnership with YouGov) and it reveals that although there has been progress, many men and women with mental health issues suffer in silence in work, as they feel unable to seek help from colleagues or managers, for fear of prejudice and exclusion.

These fears are, to a large degree, prohibited under Employment Law (as discussed below) but in the report, which surveyed […]

Gender Pay Gap Reporting – Guidance published

Draft guidance on how to manage gender pay reporting in the private and voluntary sectors has been produced by the Government and ACAS. It can be found here.

The aim of the guidance is to help employers meet their duties under the new gender pay gap reporting obligations, which were brought in by the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 (The Regulations). The Regulations are due to be brought into force on 6 April, and provide that employers with at least 250 employees must calculate and report the difference between men’s and women’s average hourly pay.

The guidance sets out four steps which employers should follow to ensure compliance with the new Regulations, namely:

  1. Extract the ‘essential information’ (i.e. the pay, bonuses and weekly working hours) of its male and female employees
  2. Carry out the calculations necessary to assess the (mean and median) gender pay gap
  3. Make a supporting statement to confirm that the published information is accurate; and
  4. Publish the gender pay information.

It also sets out a fifth step, which is does not specifically relate to an obligation under the Regulations, but is considered by both the Government and ACAS to be ‘best practice’:

  1. Implement plans to manage the […]

Case Study – Employer vs. public provider expectations

In a recent decision by the Supreme Court, a bus operator’s policy regarding the wheelchair space on its buses was held to be in breach of the duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010. The court considered that it was not enough to instruct drivers simply to request non-wheelchair users to vacate the wheelchair space if it was required by a wheelchair user, and do nothing further if the request was rejected. Instead, some further step to pressurise the non-wheelchair user to vacate the space should have been considered.

The duty to make reasonable adjustments, as considered by the Supreme Court, was that set down in S.20 of the Equalities Act 2010, which applies to employers. However, there are differences which may limit the effect of the decision on employment cases. When considering what was “reasonable” the court felt the fact that the bus operator (First Group Plc) had little to no means to compel an uncooperative passenger to vacate the wheelchair space. By contrast, an employer generally has a much greater degree of control over its employees, and can compel them to comply with any reasonable adjustments it puts in place. In practice, this means that what can reasonably be […]

The Future World of Work

The issue of is whether the ‘traditional’ employee model is sustainable is a hot topic. What is clear is that the world of work is changing. Many individuals sell goods online via outlets like Ebay, offer taxi services through Uber and accommodate tourists in their spare room via Airbnb. This is referred to as the so-called “gig economy”, where incomes are earned or supplemented by trading individual goods and services online.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has launched an inquiry into the future world of work. Its inquiry will not only focus on the rapidly changing nature of work and those working in the gig economy, but will also look at the status and rights of agency workers and the self-employed. It will consider the definition of “worker”, and whether this is clear enough, the balance of benefits between workers and employers, flexible contracts, zero-hour contracts, the role of the Low Pay Commission, minimum wage enforcement and the role of trade unions in providing representation. It will explore whether the balance of benefits between workers and employers is right for those casual and agency workers working in the gig economy, and whether further protection and support should be provided for agency workers […]