HMO Quarterly Bulletin – May 2017
Child Care Assistance
On 28 April 2017 the Government’s new childcare scheme began potentially reducing child care costs for working families by up to £2000 per child per year.
Employers may wish to point these workers to the Childcare Choice Website and its “Childcare Calculator” to check whether they are making the most of the schemes available including 30 hours free child care for three and four year olds.
Change to Rates
The spring round of updates includes:
- increases to the National Minimum Wage (with effect from 1 April 2017);
- increases to SMP to £140.98 (with effect from 2 April 2017);
- increase to SSP to £89.35 (with effect from 6 April 2017).
On 1 April 2017 regulations brought in the Institute of Apprenticeships.
An offence has been created for misuse of the term “apprenticeship”.
Article 50 – Status of EU Nationals
The Government Website gov.uk confirms that the triggering of Article 50 does not result in any change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK while the UK remains in the EU. For full details go to “Guidance: Status of EU Nationals in the UK – what you need to know”.
Unlawful deductions claims in the Employment Tribunal are common place. But a recent case (Agarwal v. Cardiff University) has highlighted that the Tribunal may find that it does not have the power to deal with such a claim if there is a need to construe the meaning of the contractual term. In that case, the proper forum will be the Courts. A possible line of defence therefore for an employer, and a point to consider by an employee before proceeding in the Tribunal if the construction of any agreement is in issue.
The Valuation of Damages against an Employee who wrongfully removes Data before leaving Employment
This is always a fear for an employer – an employee filching confidential data, these days, usually downloading this from the employer’s server to his own in preparation for using or selling that data.
In the case of Marathon Asset Management LLP v. Seddon there could not have been a greater difference between the parties as to the approach the Court should take.
40,000 documents were downloaded and retained. The employer contended that the damages should be £15,000,000.00 – a figure said to reflect the notional value of a licence fee to validate use of the data. The Defendant said access and use had been limited to a small number of the documents and damages should be nominal only to reflect that reality.
The employee won the day. Damages of £1 were awarded and the employer paid the price of seeking more than nominal damages by having to pay the costs upon that issue.
So once an employer has successfully injuncted an employee and recovered the documents, he should be wary of then seeking substantive damages if the reality is that the actual damage has been nominal.
The Consequences of Not Complying with the Recommendation made by a Tribunal under the Equality Act 2010
Under four sections of the Equality Act if the Tribunal finds that there has been a contravention then it can make a recommendation. If that recommendation is not followed then the Tribunal can award additional compensation. In a recent case the sum of £500 was awarded when an employer failed to follow the recommendation that it send a letter of apology to the employee where there had been default for a ten week period.
For assistance upon employment law issues your contacts at Hand Morgan & Owen are Patrick Nelson, Associate Solicitor, or Nigel Pepper, Consultant Solicitor, on 01785 211411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
If you would like to read other articles, fact sheets and bulletins on employment law go to https://www.hmo.co.uk/content/view
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.