Hello everyone, it’s the start of a new week so here’s your round-up of HR and employment law news from today and over the weekend. Click the article titles to see the full stories.
UK living wage rises to £8.75 per hour – The Guardian
More than 150,000 workers will get an inflation-beating pay rise on Monday as the UK living wage, which is paid voluntarily by more than 3,600 employers, is increased against a backdrop of rising transport, food and housing costs.
The pay rate will rise 3.6% to £8.75 per hour around the UK and 4.6% to £10.20 in London, giving a wages boost to workers at companies which have adopted the measure, including Google and IKEA.
Katherine Chapman, the director of the Living Wage Foundation, said the increase in the living wage was driven by inflation, currently running at 3%, and the increased cost of household goods, rents and transport. The living wage is independently calculated and designed to reflect the “real cost of living in the UK and London”.
UK’s biggest rail franchise to be broken up – The Guardian
Britain’s biggest rail franchise, which includes the strike-hit Southern service, is likely to be broken up when it expires in 2021, the government has said.
Passengers on Southern have experienced widespread disruption since it was incorporated into Britain’s biggest rail franchise, run by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), in 2015.
While the government has blamed Southern’s problems on the long industrial dispute with train drivers and crew, an official report highlighted the merger of Southern with Thameslink and Great Northern as a contributory factor.
A Recruitment Manager alleges she was sexually discriminated against by her employer who selected her for redundancy during maternity leave because she was the “easiest” to get rid of.
A tribunal heard that Bina Hale, 36, former Recruitment Manager at law firm Dentons, broke down in tears as she described the “appalling” treatment from her bosses.
The Times reports that Human Resource managers shredded handwritten notes from a meeting where they in effect, selected Hale for redundancy days before she was due to return to work.
The Bury St Edmunds trial was told that Hale was informed of provisional redundancy on her first working day back after six months on maternity leave. She said that she was told to go home, instead of working her one-month consultation period, prompting Hale to claim discrimination and unfair dismissal. However, Dentons have denied the claims, saying she was selected because she showed a lack of professionalism.
Unite hails victory in Bromley council rep victimisation case – Unite the Union
A union rep at Bromley council has won her employment tribunal (ET) case which found she was victimised for trade union activities, Unite, the country’s largest union, has announced.
Unite Legal Services lodged claims against the Conservative-controlled council’s treatment of Kathy Smith, a council employee and Unite branch secretary, who firmly opposed the council’s mass privatisation agenda. Council bosses removed her full-time trade union facility time in June 2015, which the tribunal found was ‘not only about cost or finances’ but that there was a wider issue at play ‘namely the way in which the [Council] viewed the unions’.
Unite assistant general secretary for legal services Howard Beckett today (Monday 6 November) hailed the result as ‘a great victory for the rights of trade union reps which sends out a strong signal to other local authorities’.
The ET found in favour of Kathy Smith on three counts – two regarding trade union victimisation in order to deter her from carrying out trade union activities and one for breach of the right to paid time-off for trade union duties.