Employer Perspectives

News and Views on Employment and Pensions Issues

Five years ago the pensions world was rocked by George Osborne’s Budget announcement:  DC members would no longer be forced to buy annuities. Under his “freedom and choice” initiative, tax rules were changed so that DC pots could be used to provide lump sums or drawdown.  At the same time, Pension Wise was introduced – free guidance for DC members about their benefit options.  Later changes to tax law mean that, subject to certain conditions, members…
On Friday (24 May) the Court of Appeal delivered its decision in the cases of Capita v Ali and Hextall v Chief Constable of Leicestershire.  In both cases, male employees claimed sex discrimination on the basis that their employer’s shared parental leave (SPL) policies provided the statutory rate of SPL pay to employees taking SPL, while their maternity leave policies provided for enhanced maternity pay.  The Court of Appeal has ruled that this is neither…
What’s New? The latest episode of Mayer Brown’s UK Employment Law podcast is now available for streaming and download. To celebrate the success of our long running podcast, we have released the 150th episode with a few changes and availability on a wider variety of platforms such as: Google Podcast Google Play Feedburner iTunes PlayerFM Spotify Yahoo! YouTube Subscribe now and tune in regularly to hear Nick discuss the latest developments in UK Employment law…
The High Court has held that directors of the sponsoring employer of two pension schemes did not, as trustees of those schemes, owe any fiduciary duties to the employer. H and W were directors of a company and were trustees of the company’s main and executive pension schemes (the schemes). After H and W left the company, it issued proceedings against them, arguing that H and W had breached the directors’ duties that they owed…
In the wake of #MeToo and the associated shift in the way allegations of sexual harassment are treated by employers, making the decision to suspend an employee can have far-reaching repercussions for employers and employees alike. Importantly, in 2007, the Court of Appeal, in Mezey v South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, held that suspension, regardless of how it is framed by an employer, is not a “neutral act” as it…
Various pieces of legislation came into force in early April 2019.  The common, and unsurprising, theme among all these legislative changes is that they increase the statutory minimum amounts employers must pay to their staff and increase awards available to the Employment Tribunal.  We have set out below a summary of these key increases all of which are now fully effective. Statutory sick and family leave pay Under the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2019,…
The government has given the green  light to a new form of defined contribution pension scheme.  At least, it is new to the UK.  “Collective defined contribution” (“CDC”) schemes are common in the Netherlands and Denmark but the idea of introducing this type of scheme into the UK has only relatively recently gained traction.  The fact that the Royal Mail wants to put such a scheme in place for its 140,000-strong workforce has provided the…
The case of Hargreaves v Department for Work and Pensions provides a useful reminder of what employers should keep in mind when managing an employee with a disability, including the following: Discuss suitable reasonable adjustments at the very first opportunity and seek input from the employee’s treating health professional and occupational health as well as the employee. Consider whether the application of a ‘provision, criterion or practice’ within the organisation, such as rigid working hours,…