Employment and Pension E-Bulletin Article

This summer will see the introduction of new provisions aimed at enabling employers to have pre-termination negotiations supposedly without fear of their discussions ending up in tribunal. ACAS has now produced its final statutory code of practice on the provisions. We summarise below what the provisions and code mean in practice.

Employment and Pensions E-Bulletin Article

In October 2012, George Osborne announced plans to introduce a new employment status - the "employee owner" (subsequently changed to “employee shareholder”). In summary, employees give up some of their employment rights (including the right to a statutory redundancy payment and to claim unfair dismissal, except where their dismissal is automatically unfair or discriminatory), in return for between £2,000 and £50,000 worth of shares in their employer issued free of charge and without Capital Gains Tax being payable on any future sale.

What does it mean for employers?

Four British Christians complained that they suffered discrimination at work on the grounds of their religion or belief.  A member of British Airways' check-in staff (Eweida) and a nurse at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital (Chaplin) brought their claims on the basis that they were refused the right to wear a visible cross.  A registrar (Ladele) and a counsellor for Relate (McFarlane) brought claims as a result of being disciplined and dismissed for refusing to comply with their employers' respective requirements to undertake civil partnerships and provide psycho-sexual counselling to same sex couples.  Having ultimately had no success in the UK courts against their employers the individuals took their cases to the European Court of Human Rights.  They argued that the UK government had failed to protect their rights to hold and manifest their religion (Article 9).