Employment law stories in the news – 02.01.2017 to 08.01.2017

In the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news, we take a look at ten employment law stories that have made headlines between 2 January and 8 January 2017

  1. Apprentice levy ‘will harm small council schools’ – Plans to boost apprenticeship funding in England will hit school budgets, with small council schools unfairly affected, say town hall bosses. From May, all employers with wage bills over £3m a year must pay 0.5% of that into the new apprenticeship levy (BBC)
  2. British women face dramatic pay gap ‘penalty’ when they become mothers – Young women in their thirties still face as severe “pay penalty” when they become mothers, despite the gender gap falling in Britain, a new study has found. A study by the Resolution Foundation compared the typical hourly pay of different generation of men and women over the course of their careers (The Independent)
  3. Nearly 700 firms fined total of £1.4m for not paying minimum wage – Nearly 700 firms, including Brighton and Hove Albion and Boris Becker’s favourite Wimbledon restaurant, have been fined nearly £1.4m for paying staff below the minimum wage (The Guardian)
  4. Company prosecuted after workers were severely burned – A North East engineering company was sentenced today for safety breaches after two of its workers were burned when they were sprayed with chemicals during chemical cleaning of a pipework system (HSE)
  5. Gangmasters agree to pay more than £1m to settle modern slavery claim – A Kent-based gangmaster couple have agreed to a landmark settlement worth more than £1m in compensation and legal costs for a group of migrants who were trafficked to work on farms producing eggs for high street brands (The Guardian)
  6. Bike courier wins ‘gig’ economy employment rights case – A bicycle courier has won an employment rights case in a ruling which could have implications for the “gig economy”. A tribunal found that Maggie Dewhurst, a courier with logistics firm City Sprint, should be classed as a worker rather than self-employed (BBC)
  7. Construction Company fined after contractor receives life changing injuries – A Lincoln based Construction Company, specialising in fitting mezzanine floors were prosecuted after a contractor fell onto a concrete floor. Guildford Crown Court heard that M & L Installers Ltd were contracted to install a mezzanine floor at a factory in Sunbury on Thames, Surrey. The design included a hole in the mezzanine floor where a lift was due to be installed (HSE)
  8. Employers cough up £83k under tribunal penalty regime – Employers have coughed up more than £83,000 since a new penalty regime for unpaid employment tribunal awards came into force last year (The Law Society Gazette)
  9. Charity ordered to pay £130,000 after sacking whistleblowing Scottish director – A UK charity has been told to pay almost £130,000 in compensation to a Scottish employee it sacked last year after he whistleblew to funders. However, the payment to former Working on Wheels Sotland director Neil Logan, is now in doubt as the charity immediately announced its closure (Third Force News)
  10. Golf expert, 61, who dined with royalty to secure sponsorship deals for the PGA European Tour worth more than £100mllion is set for a huge payout after a tribunal rules he was unfairly sacked when he refused to retire or take a pay cut – A golf expert who secured sponsorship deals for more than £100million was unfairly sacked by the PGA European Tour for refusing to take an 80 per cent paycut, a tribunal has found (The Mail Online)