Policy News Journal - 2016-17

The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals ……………………………………………………………Policy News Journal

Reasonable adjustments may extend to protection of pay 6 September 2016

Can the duty to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee extend to continuing to pay a higher salary when an employee is moved to a lesser role?

Yes, holds the EAT in G4S Cash Solutions (UK) Ltd v Powell

Due to disability, the Claimant had been moved from an engineering role maintaining cash machines to a less skilled 'key runner' role. After initially having his pay protected, the Respondent proposed reducing the Claimant's pay by around 10%, dismissing the Claimant when he refused the pay cut. The Employment Tribunal found the dismissal to be discriminatory and unfair, and that the reasonable adjustments required extended to maintaining the Claimant's former pay in his new role. The EAT found no reason in principle why the duty to make reasonable adjustments would not extend to protecting an employee's pay (along with other measures) to counter a disabled employee's disadvantage. The objectives of the legislation plainly envisage an element of cost to the employer, and 'pay protection' was but one form of cost to an employer. The question will always be whether it is reasonable for an employer to have to take that step to avert a disabled employee's disadvantage. However, the EAT did not expect that requiring employers to make up pay would be an 'everyday event' for tribunals, and in changed circumstances such an adjustment may cease to a reasonable one an employer has to make.

With thanks to Daniel Barnett’s employment law bulletin which provided the details of this case.

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What Uber's employment tribunal could mean for employers 8 September 2016

Uber is currently embroiled in employment tribunal proceedings which are considering the employment status of 19 of its drivers in the UK.

An article from Financial Director highlights the impact that this case could have on employers even though it only involves 19 drivers; any judgment will impact all other drivers.

Uber is arguing that its drivers, or ‘partners’ as it calls them, are self-employed, while GMB (the union representing professional drivers, and bringing the claim) is arguing that they are in fact workers and should be entitled to additional employment rights as a result. National Living Wage A finding that the drivers are workers would undoubtedly have a huge impact. One of the areas of concern for employers is that many Uber drivers claim to earn well below the National Living Wage (NLW) and some may earn as much as £3 per hour less than the NLW (currently £7.20 per hour). If that is the case, the worker will be entitled to re-claim the backdated additional payments they should have received in the two years prior to the ruling. Uber is estimated to have 30,000 Uber drivers in London alone, so backdated payments of up to an additional £3 for every hour worked over two years to 30,000 drivers will have a substantial cost. Why are Uber so concerned? Working individuals in the UK are categorised into three main, distinct groups all of which are entitled to different rights, and subject to different obligations: Self-Employed Those who are genuinely self-employed (i.e. in business for themselves) do not enjoy any significant statutory employment rights.



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