MPs to consider whether unpaid trial shifts should be made illegal

MPs to consider whether unpaid trial shifts should be made illegal

Several MPs led by SNP MP Stewart McDonald are proposing that unpaid trial shifts should be banned and made illegal. The Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill seeks to make all unpaid trial shifts (used primarily to determine whether or not a prospective employee has the necessary requirements for a position) illegal and suggest that potential staff should be at the very least offered minimum wage for any work undertaken. Should the bill be passed, employers will need to detail exactly how many roles are available, agree to provide feedback following the trial, provide a job description and inform all applicants how long the trial period will last. The bill has received huge support, including from the likes of Union Unite who state that within the hospitality section there were several organisations using trial shifts regularly, even one forcing new employees to carry out 40 hours of training. MP Stewart McDonald claimed that the current law around trials shifts was ineffective and businesses were...
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The Pro-Rata Principle: Why Airline Got It Wrong For Part-Time Staff

The Pro-Rata Principle: Why Airline Got It Wrong For Part-Time Staff

The law on employing part-time employees says that employers must not treat a part-time employee less favourably than a full-time employee just because of their part-time status. Where less favourable treatment does occur, employers must be able to ‘objectively justify’ that treatment. A recent case involving British Airways part-time staff has shown how easy it is for an employer to fail that test. Employee Moved From Full-Time To Part-Time In Pinaud v British Airways, the claimant joined the respondent in 1998 and undertook the role of Purser. Initially she worked on a full-time basis but on her return from maternity leave, she dropped to part-time hours. Full-time employees worked to what the airline called a ‘6/3’ pattern – 6 days on and 3 days off. The claimant worked on a ‘14/14’ pattern which the airline considered to be exactly half of the required working time of a full-time employee. On the ‘14/14’ shift which followed a 14 days on and 14 days...
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Naming and Shaming: Why Employers Failed To Pay National Minimum Wage

Naming and Shaming: Why Employers Failed To Pay National Minimum Wage

Hundreds more employers have been publically ‘named and shamed’ by the Government for failing to pay their workers the national minimum wage. Quarter on quarter, the number of employers continues to grow and we are able to recognise trends in who is getting it wrong most frequently, and why. With hefty fines attached to underpayment, employers need a firm grasp on how the law works on minimum wages. 13,000 Workers Underpaid In August, 233 employers had their names and locations published on the internet, along with details on the underpayments that HMRC had identified. The details show us how many employees were underpaid and how much the employer’s total underpayment was. In total, more than 13,000 workers had been underpaid to the tune of more than £1.9 million. This brings the overall total of identified underpayments, since October 2013, to £6 million. Where an underpayment is found, the employer will also be fined. In that same time period, fines have reached £4 million. The Government...
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Government Moves Closer to Paid Bereavement Leave

Government Moves Closer to Paid Bereavement Leave

Employment law provides a structural mechanism to help employees deal with many significant life events: sick pay during times of illness, maternity leave and pay when an employee has a baby, for example. Until now, however, the Government has avoided creating a minimum set of rights for employees who experience bereavement. A new Bill will change this and for the first time employees will get paid time off to grieve. Current Position on Bereavement Leave Employers are currently able to set their own rules on bereavement leave and pay for their employees because of an absence of law in this area. Because of that, contractual entitlements differ from organisation to organisation. Many use their discretion in individual circumstances depending on various factors including the relationship of the employee to the person who has died. There are already special provisions within laws on maternity leave which allow a mother to still take all of her maternity leave in the event that her child is...
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