Need to Know - Issue 7 2017

Voluntary overtime must be included in the calculation of holiday pay

The case of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts [2017] is the first appellate decision to provide clarification regarding whether payments received in respect of entirely voluntary overtime should be taken into account when calculating holiday pay.

Discrimination arising from disability: too little of a good thing?

Disabled employees enjoy specific and important legal protection under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010, which states that a disabled person is discriminated against if: (a) they are treated unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of their disability; and (b) that treatment cannot be justified. One of the key concepts in this provision is unfavourable treatment, and in Williams, the Court of Appeal considered the unusual question of whether apparently advantageous treatment can be called unfavourable.

Vicarious liability - a balance between two innocent parties

Whilst common law clearly dictates that employers (subject to certain conditions) can be held vicariously liable for the actions of their employees, the extent of this principle in light of the emerging “gig” economy remains unclear. The High Court in Various Claimants v Barclays Bank Plc [2017] EWHC 1929 however, somewhat clarified the boundaries by holding Barclays Bank to be vicariously liable for a series of sexual assaults committed by an independent contractor.

Monitoring employees’ emails at work

The decision of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Barbulescu v Romania highlights the need for employers to carefully consider the way in which they monitor employees’ emails, and their reasons for doing so.