Upcoming UK Employment Law cases which will be important in 2021.*
- The case of Royal Mencap Society -v- Tomlinson -Blake; Shannon -v- Rampersad and Another, is a case where the UK Supreme Court is due to decide if the National Minimum Wage Legislation requires employers who have to sleep in to receive the minimum wage for hours during which they are asleep. The UK Court of Appeal had held that the National Minimum Wage Legislation only requires sleep in workers to receive the minimum wage only when they are awake and available for work. A similar argument often arises in Ireland in the case of in particular carers who have to remain in a premises. They may or may not be called on during the night. This case is going to be interesting as regards its decision and how it might impact in Ireland. Although the Irish Legislation would appear to hold that if an employee is required to be at a place determined by the employer then they are at a place of work and entitled to be paid.
- The case of Asda Stores limited -v- Brierley and Others involves Asda Supermarket workers who are mostly female who are contending that the work they do is equal in value to the work undertaken by male colleagues working at Asda Depots. In July of last year, the UK Supreme Court considered the preliminary issue as to whether or not the supermarket workers are able to compare their pay with that of the depot workers. The Supreme Court judgement in that is awaited. If the ruling is in favour of the workers, this would mean that the case would go back to the Employment Tribunal in the UK to decide if the work is of equal value.
In Ireland there has been a number of cases where the Labour Court has allowed, under our Legislation employees to compare themselves with workers in other locations and not even in the same company.
- The case of Aslam and other -v- Uber BV and Others, is a case which has been going on for a number of years. The drivers successfully argued in the Court of Appeal, in the UK, that they were workers and not self-employed. This decision is going to be important for those in the gig economy.
The English Legislation is different than in Ireland. In Ireland we have employees and employers. In the UK they have employees, workers and self-employed. Individuals who are classified as workers do not have the same rights as employees but do have certain rights in relation to sick pay and holiday pay.
Even so this decision will be useful for addressing the issues as to the test as to who is and who is not self-employed.
*Before acting or refraining from acting on anything in this guide, legal advice should be sought from a solicitor.
**In contentious cases, a solicitor may not charge fees or expenses as a portion or percentage of any award of settlement.