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What to expect in Employment Law in 2018

Sleep-in Duties

The Court of Appeal is expected to hear the case of Focus Care Agency Ltd v Roberts and others in March to interpret whether employees who sleep-in in order to carry out duties, engage in “time work” for the entire duration of the night shift or whether they are only entitled to the national minimum wage when they are awake and carrying out their relevant duties.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

In Lee v McArthur and Ashers Baking Company Ltd the Supreme Court will determine in May whether a Christian bakery had directly discriminated against a gay man a following their refusal to bake him a cake reading “Support Gay Marriage”.

Gig Economy

In Pimlico Plumbers Ltd v Smith, the issue of employment status will be further examined by the Supreme Court in February.

The Uber case also examines the issue of employment status and the Court of Appeal is expected to hear the case during November of this year. 

Holiday Rights

In Sash Window Workshop Ltd and another v King, a further hearing in the Court of Appeal is expected after a European reference confirmed that workers who are wrongly told they have no right to paid holiday can carry their holiday rights over indefinitely, and be paid in lieu on termination, for any untaken holiday over the whole of their employment.

EU General Data Protection Regulation

From 25 May 2018, GDPR will require employers to comply with new rules governing the processing of personal data, including data in relation to consent, transparency and access rights.

It is also the intention of the UK government to introduce a new Data Protection Bill to replace the current Data Protection Act 1998.

Mandatory gender pay gap reporting

The first reports in relation to mandatory gender pay gap reporting for voluntary sector employers and large private employers are due by 4 April 2018.

2018: The year for developments?

Grandparental leave was expected to be introduced in 2018. A consultation to extend Shared Parental Leave and Pay to working grandparents was expected to take place in May 2016, but was delayed due to the EU referendum. There has been no further announcement from the government in relation to whether this policy will advance. 

Beyond 2018

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is scheduled to review the Acas early conciliation scheme and the Flexible Working Regulations 2014 in the longer term.