New Guides for Employers – Immigration Checks
These days all businesses should check the immigration status of their workers but knowing what checks to carry out can be pretty daunting.
The Home Office have published 2 guides to help employers understand the changes in immigration law which came into effect on 16th May 2014, relating to employing foreign workers.
The checks an employer is expected to carry out are detailed in the guidance ‘An employer’s guide to right to work checks’ and broken down into EEA workers and non-EEA workers.
The penalty system now includes warnings and the ability to reduce the penalty if a number of steps have been followed.
Anyone who is found to be employing illegal workers now faces of a fine of up to £20,000 per worker (increased from £15,000 per worker). For further information, you can read ‘An employer’s guide to the administration of the civil penalty scheme’. Vital reading for all businesses!
Holiday Pay should include Commission
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that where ‘normal remuneration’ is basic salary and contractual commission, that the an employer should also include payment for this when calculation holiday pay.
This case* involved a British Gas salesman whose salary is made up of 60% commission, paid in arrears. His holiday pay was calculated only on the basis of his basic salary, with no increment for commission. When he took a 2 week holiday he didn’t earn any commission on sales (as he wasn’t there to make any sales!), and so his subsequent pay for that period was significantly reduced.
He argued that it was a breach of the Working Time Regulations, as it essentially penalised him for taking statutory holiday. The ECJ agreed and have sent the case back to the Employment Tribunal for them to calculate an element for commission with reference to a specific period (likely to be 12 weeks before he took the holiday for instance).
This is an important case for employers, particularly when considering salary packages for new employees, as the concept of ‘normal remuneration’ may prove to be costly to those who pay a low basic salary and contractual commission to employees.[There are 2 other cases to be heard in July which relate to overtime payments so we will also report on those when the judgments are in.]
*Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd C-539/12
Update on holiday pay, November 2017.
Challenge to ET Fees continues
The union UNISON’s application for Judicial Review of Employment Tribunal Fees will go to the Court of Appeal following publication of statistics earlier this year that show that the number of Tribunal claims dropped by a massive 79% following the introduction of fees for claimants in July 2013.
The original application was dismissed by the High Court last year, in part because it was said that there was not sufficient evidence to show that claimants would be denied justice or that the fees were discriminatory.
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Image attribution: Maurice Flesier (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons