Further to our Corporate Insights Newsletter which looked at upcoming developments in 2017 (https://www.morrlaw.com/legal-developments-affecting-your-business-in-2017/), I attended a popular seminar held by BEIS (The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) at which the government’s plans and priorities for 2017 were discussed.
Key points included:
1. The Taylor Review of modern employment practices
The Government has asked Matthew Taylor, the Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts and former policy chief, to lead an independent review of employment practices to assess whether they are still ‘fit for purpose’. The challenge will be working out which areas to focus on given the timetable, but it is likely that employment status and the distinction between employees, workers and the self-employed will be of interest.
A series of public events will be held by Matthew and his team over the next few months to obtain the views of employers and workers from across the country. The report is expected by June and, according to BEIS, could lead to some radical reforms of employment law.
Further details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/taylor-review-on-modern-employment-practices-launches
In light of Theresa May’s pledge to protect workers’ rights, the message we received from BEIS is that employment law will remain largely unaffected following Brexit, with only some technical tweaks to the legislation to ensure it still makes sense following our exit.
Questions have been raised though about how the law will be interpreted going forward and whether past or future European cases will continue to have an influence. Careful attention will have to be paid to the Great Repeal Bill announced by the Prime Minister and which should provide a system for removing or amending EU laws which currently apply to the UK. Further details are expected this summer.
3. Ongoing matters
Brexit is not the only matter on the Government’s agenda and other issues, including the following, are still being considered:
– Shared Parental Leave for grandparents;
– Tipping practices in the service industry;
– Post-termination restrictions in employment contracts and the extent to which they act as a barrier to employment, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Having said that, no further detail could be provided on the Gender Pay Gap Regulations or ‘holiday pay’ cases.
We will provide you with further updates on all of the above topics as information becomes available.
In the meantime if you require any employment law advice, please contact your usual adviser or call 020 8971 1020 and ask for a member of the employment team.