1. What is your name, job title and company?
Matthew Howse, partner, employment law practice group leader at Morgan Lewis.
2. What are the top 3 employment law issues right now?
• Gender Pay Gap Reporting
• Modern Slavery
• Holiday Pay
3. How would you advise employers to tackle the issues you mention above?
• Gender pay gap reporting – the regulations will apply to employers with more than 250 employees. Such employers will be required to have a snapshot of gender pay gap data prepared for 30 April 2017 and publish the first gender pay reports within 12 months of that date so they should be preparing for that deadline now by collating and analysing their pay data.
• Modern Slavery Act – the Act requires large commercial organisations that carry on business in the UK, to prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement for financial years ending on or after 31 March 2016.
• Holiday pay – following the recent court decisions in Bear Scotland and Lock cases, employers should be reviewing their holiday pay policies and particularly examining how they deal with employees who benefit from payments for commission, overtime, acting up allowances, bonuses and similar payments.
4. Are there any upcoming employment law updates that employers need to be mindful of?
The gender pay gap reporting regulations will come into force on 1 October 2016.
5. Could you indicate how these updates will affect day to day working?
The gender pay gap reporting regulations will not change “day to day working” but will likely have an impact on employers whose pay data does show a gap between the pay and bonuses paid to female employees as to male employees as such employers will move to address the inequalities in pay.
6. What systemic changes do you anticipate in the coming years from an employment law perspective and how can employers prepare?
There are no major employment law changes expected in the coming years. However, if the UK votes to leave the EU in the forthcoming referendum, it is likely that there will be changes given that much of UK employment law has been introduced as a result of EU initiatives and laws. What those changes would be will depend on the type of relationship with the EU that the UK decides to have so it is difficult to predict what changes will happen.