Littler Global Guide - United Kingdom - Q1 2022

Browse through brief employment and labor law updates from around the globe. Contact a Littler attorney for more information or view our global locations.

View all Q1 2022 Global Guide Quarterly updates   Download full Q1 2022 Global Guide Quarterly

New Regulations Enacted to Enable Employers to Digitally Verify Right to Work

New Legislation Enacted

Authors: Deborah Margolis, Senior Associate, and Raoul Parekh, Partner – GQ | Littler

On April 6, 2022, the Immigration (Restrictions on Employment and Residential Accommodation) (Prescribed Requirements and Codes of Practice) and Licensing Act 2003 (Personal and Premises Licenses) (Forms), etc., Regulations 2022 (SI/2022/242) came into force. The Regulations enable employers to use Identification Validation Technology service providers to digitally verify the identity of British and Irish citizens with valid passports (or Irish passport cards) for right to work checks, as an alternative of conducting a manual check. Two associated codes of practice on right to work checks have also been published.

Employer’s Exercise of a Payment in Lieu of Notice Clause After an Employee’s Resignation Does Not Constitute Dismissal

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Authors: Ben Rouse, Associate, and Raoul Parekh, Partner – GQ | Littler

On February 25, 2022, the UK Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decided that an employee will not be considered to have been dismissed by their employer where they resign, and the employer brings forward the last day of employment by invoking a contractual right to pay them in lieu of their notice period. Therefore, for the time being, termination of employment in these circumstances will be considered to be by reason of resignation rather than dismissal. However, the claimant in this case has sought permission to appeal the EAT’s findings, meaning that this issue may arise again in the Court of Appeal.

Misclassified Worker Who Had Taken Unpaid Holiday Entitled to Backdated Holiday Pay for Duration of Employment

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Authors: Josephine Rendall-Neal, Associate, and Raoul Parekh, Partner – GQ | Littler

On February 1, 2022, the Court of Appeal held that a worker who had been misclassified and told that he had no right to paid holiday by his employer was in fact entitled to backdated pay in respect of statutory annual leave for his whole period of employment. The employer had a duty to encourage workers to take their statutory holiday (in this case, the four weeks available under EU law) and to pay them for that holiday. The fact that the worker had in fact taken the holiday (unpaid) did not mean that he had not been discouraged from doing so – the Court said that a worker must have certainty that they will be paid during their holiday so that they’re able “fully to benefit from that leave as a period of relaxation and leisure.” Furthermore, the Court confirmed that a worker has three months from termination to bring a holiday pay claim (and not three months from the last period of unpaid holiday).

This decision follows the direction of travel in UK cases relating to misclassified “gig economy” workers whose employers face potentially significant liabilities arising from historic failures to meet their obligations under employment law.

Changes to COVID-19 Rules on Self-Isolation, Sick Pay in Q1 2022

New Regulation or Official Guidance

Authors: Ben Smith, Associate, and Raoul Parekh, Partner – GQ | Littler

In Q1 2022, various changes to COVID-related restrictions in England and Wales were announced. As of February 24, mandatory self-isolation has ended in all cases, replaced with nonmandatory advice to isolate following a positive COVID test. On March 17, the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme ended, with final claims due by March 24. Also, as of March 24, all COVID-related sick pay rules have been repealed, meaning (1) an employee self-isolating is no longer deemed to be incapable for work and therefore entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP), instead they must show they are unwell under orthodox sick pay rules (self-certification for up to seven days, after which a doctor’s note can be required) to qualify for SSP, and (2) entitlement to SSP once more begins on day four of incapacity. As of April 1, access to free COVID tests ended for most in the UK and new guidance was introduced for employers to manage COVID risks in the workplace.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.