Firstly, Happy New Year to all my followers. I hope 2017 is a year filled with happiness, prosperity and health – not necessarily in that order!
2017 was a great year in which we strengthened the support team and the support services. Excello won some awards and we had some great victories for clients whether that was in settlements before the hearing, settlement agreements or just resolving the issues. Our client satisfaction speaks for itself and in the sheer number of referrals from clients – thank you all.
In the greater environment 2016 was a year of change, Brexit, Trump and May came on board so 2017 promises to build on this with the changes voted for or promised taking place. The first thing of course to note is that Brexit is bound to dominate the legal and political arena. There is litigation in the Supreme Court over the sovereignty of parliament which will determine the UK process for exit. Even though this doesn’t directly impact on employment law, this will dominate the news over forthcoming months.
What else can we expect in 2017 relating to employment law. Well we can expect more cases on employment status. Uber are appealing the recent ruling that their drivers are workers entitled to holiday pay and the national minimum wage. There are other claims in the system including from cycle couriers (one recently determined they were workers) and one Court of Appeal judgment due imminently on the test for worker status. Others in the gig economy are keenly watching for developments.
Holiday pay will continue to feature in the news. British Gas have appealed the Lock decision concerning what holiday includes to the Supreme Court and the ECJ has been asked to determine the remedies for workers where the employer denies them paid leave in the ongoing saga of The Sash Window Workshop Ltd v King (no relation!)
We can also expect appeal decisions in a number of recent discrimination cases including the gay cake row case of Ashers Bakers Ltd due to be heard before the Supreme Court and we also await Supreme Court decisions in two cases involving indirect discrimination and group disadvantage; Essop v the Home Office and Naeem v Secretary of State for Justice.
We are expecting a Court of Appeal decision on the circumstances in which a Data Subject Access Request under the DPA could be too onerous. We are also expecting to see developments in criminal prosecutions of company directors. One case before the magistrates centres around the failure to give the statutory information in the HR1 form. We have seen recent prosecutions for breaches of the DPA in the criminal courts and it may be that these sort of cases feature in the news for 2017.
Finally, we are due to hear on the future of employment tribunal fees and also there may be further developments and consultations is the reforms to the tribunal service and the move towards online dispute resolution and the Equalities Court.
As always watch this space as we bring you the latest developments in employment law as they happen.