Employment and Pensions Law (14 January – 28 January)

Employment News

UK employment total hits record high

BBC News – 22 January

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that UK employment total has reached a record high of 32.54 million. Average bonuses have increased by 3.3% and the number of job vacancies has risen to 853,000.

Employment ethnicity pay gap

Eversheds Sutherland – 22 January

Just over a year after the introduction of the compulsory gender pay gap reporting, the government has published a consultation on introducing an equal pay scheme according to ethnicity. There is increasing research demonstrating that the UK is becoming more ethnically diverse, and that an inclusive workplace provides better growth and performance.

Supreme Court to decide validity of thousands of employment contracts

People Management – 22 January

The Supreme Court has begun the process of deciding the landmark case of Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd (2017). Thousands of contracts could be voided over the use of non-compete clauses if the Supreme Court upholds the Court of Appeal decision. Depending on the final decision, this may affect numerous employee contracts.

Uptake of flexible working has not increased since 2010, finds CIPD study

People Management – 14 January

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has launched a campaign to encourage employers to offer a flexible working schedule to employees. 27% of the UK workforce currently have a flexible working arrangement, but this figure has not changed since 2010. The CIPD campaign is attempting to address this issue.

Pensions News

HMRC warns parents over state pension

FT Adviser – 23 January

Data provided by HMRC to the Treasury committee has warned that 200,000 parents may not receive their full state pension as they have not claimed child benefit. Parents who do not claim child benefit may not receive NI credits for state pension purposes. HMRC has given guidance on the matter.

Around two-thirds say contributory pension schemes are their most valued benefit

Employee Benefits – 17 January

In a survey of 2,000 UK employees, conducted by Willis Towers Watson, 62% of respondents stated that a contributory pension scheme is one of their top five most valued benefits. Health insurance, life insurance, critical illness cover, and health cash plans were also viewed as important benefits.

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