Employment Law e-alert Autumn 2019

30 August 2019

Welcome to the latest edition of our Employment newsletter.

In this edition, the newest member of the team Margaret Davis discusses the ignorance of IR35 and changes to the legislation relating to the taxation of consultants.

Head of the team, Anthony Edwards, looks at the fascinating issue of covert recording of HR meetings by employees.

Top tips on how to manage sickness absence effectively are given by Natasha Letchford and Sophia Zand sets out when TUPE is likely to apply to service provision changes.

If you would to discuss any of the matters raised, or have any employment issues, then please don't hesitate to contact any member of the team.

IR35 - Do you need to be worried?

Ignorance of IR35 and changes to the legislation relating to the taxation of individuals who provide their services as self-employed contractors (often described as consultants) and which will apply to the private sector from April 2020 could result in employers and contractors being caught out when those changes come into effect.

From April 2020, unless they are exempt, anyone hiring contractors in the UK through a personal service company (PSC) and regardless of whether the PSC is itself based in the UK will be responsible for assessing whether IR35 applies to each individual contractor.  If the rules apply, the business, agency or third party that pays the PCS will need to deduct from the payment income tax and employee NICs as well as paying employer NICs to HMRC on the payments made.

Small incorporated organisations are exempt from the new legislation where they meet two of the following three criteria:

  • less than 50 employees;
  • balance sheet total of less than £5.1m; and/or
  • turnover of less than £10.2m.

For unincorporated entities, turnover alone is anticipated to be determinative.

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Covert recording of HR meetings by employees

The covert recording of HR meetings by employees is often a vexed question. In particular, issues can arise when an employee secretly records a grievance or disciplinary hearing and then seeks to rely on it, either to amend the summary notes of the meeting prepared by the employer or as evidence in any subsequent legal proceedings.

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Managing sickness absence effectively

Whilst sickness absence is an inevitable part of employing people and in most cases is infrequent and does not cause significant problems for employers, persistent short-term absences, or a period of long-term absence, can become a problem.

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Service provision changes: when does TUPE apply?

Service provision change can be a complex and difficult area of law. In this article, we give readers a brief reminder on what a service provision change is and go through the conditions that need to be met in order for TUPE to apply, with examples of when employees will lose TUPE protection.

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This newsletter (including the attached articles) is for guidance and information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Readers are strongly advised to seek professional advice in respect of any specific case or matter.

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