Limit on claiming back pay
Following on from the recent decision where overtime should be included in the calculation of holiday pay, the Government has introduced the Deductions from Wages (Limitations) Regulations 2014. These Regulations will remove the much feared possibility of employees bringing long-term claims for back-dated holiday pay as they introduce a two year limit ending on the date an Employment Tribunal claim is presented.
These changes only apply to claims presented on or after 1st July 2015 which means there is still a window during which workers will be able to bring claims for unlawful deductions potentially stretching back further than two years. Having said that the worker would have to establish there had been a series of deductions with no more than three months between each.
The trade union, Unison, has lost its battle to overturn Employment Tribunal fees.
Fees were introduced in July 2013 and this was the union’s second application for a review of them. With an unfair dismissal claim potentially costing £1200, the number of claims has dropped significantly with figures showing that claims have fallen by approximately two-thirds.
Unison argued that fees prevent access to justice at a time when individuals are particularly vulnerable and although this recent review was unsuccessful, the union has been given permission to appeal.
Obesity = Disability
With many people in the UK classed as obese, employers need to consider this in the light of a recent decision from the European Court of Justice which has ruled that obesity can be a disability.
Being overweight is not enough but if an employee’s weight “hinders the full and effective participation in professional life on an equal basis with other workers” as a result of reduced mobility or mental or psychological impairments, they may be regarded as having a disability and employers may therefore have a duty to make reasonable adjustments.
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