Employment Bulletin - March 2018

In this issue:

  • Harassment against school staff: the law, lies and liability;
  • Requirement to publish facility time taken by trade union officials;
  • Changes to collecting trade union subscriptions (check-off);
  • Qualified teacher status – now and in the future;
  • 90% increase in Employment Tribunal claims since abolition of fees;
  • Changes to the taxation of PILON payments; and
  • Calculating Holiday Pay for Term-Time Workers.
Harassment against school staff: the law, lies and liability

Harassment in schools is an unfortunately frequent topic in the news. The government has acknowledged the rise in harassment between pupils, and has recently published advice for schools on sexual violence and sexual harassment between pupils. However, it begs the question – what about harassment that school staff face, often by colleagues or parents of pupils?

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Requirement to publish facility time taken by trade union officials

The Trade Union (Facility Time Publication Requirements) Regulations 2017 (“the 2017 Regulations”) came into force on 1 April 2017. The 2017 Regulations impose requirements on relevant public employers to publish information in relation to facility time taken by trade union officials. The deadline to publish the information is 31 July 2018.

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Changes to collecting trade union subscriptions (check-off)

The Trade Union (Deduction of Union Subscriptions from Wages in the Public Sector) Regulations 2017 (“the Regulations”) came into force on 10 March 2018. The Regulations concern ‘check-off’, which is the system by which an employer collects union subscriptions from employees by deducting them directly from their wages and paying them over to unions.

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Qualified Teacher Status – now and in the future

As we approach the summer term, schools start to think about NQT positions for September.

It therefore may be helpful to set out the current qualified teacher requirements and how this might change in the future. There are also differences between teaching in the maintained sector and in academies.

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90% increase in Employment Tribunal claims since abolition of fees

In July 2017, the UK Supreme Court declared that employment tribunal fees were unlawful. The government promptly responded by scrapping fees with immediate effect and announced that full refunds would be provided to anyone who paid fees at an Employment Tribunal or Employment Appeals Tribunal between 29 July 2013 and 26 July 2017. This is expected to cost the government £33m. At the end of 2017, 3,337 refunds have been made, amounting to £2.7m.

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Changes to the taxation of PILON payments

Where an employer and employee wish to bring their contractual relationship to an end, notice is usually required in order to lawfully terminate the contract of employment. However, in certain instances, a termination payment may be made and the employee will not be required to work his or her notice period. This can be advantageous in certain circumstances, for example, where the relationship with the employee has broken down and it would be impractical for them to continue working with the employer.

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Calculating Holiday Pay for Term-Time Workers

Almost all workers are legally entitled to 5.6 week’s paid holiday per year under the Working Time Regulations (WTR) 1998 (this is equivalent to 28 days for those who work five days a week). This is made up of the statutory minimum of four weeks’ annual leave and UK public holidays. A part-time worker is entitled to 28 days' holiday which is reduced pro rata, according to the number of days they work each week.

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The law and practice referred to in this article or webinar has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.

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