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Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP

Alex Beidas analyses the latest proposals for large businesses to be more transparent over executive pay and to improve boardroom diversity

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee published its report on corporate governance reform on 5 April. Overall, the report does not recommend a profound overhaul of the UK’s corporate governance regime but does identify areas for improvement, with more powers for the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

Alexandra Beidas and Jillian Naylor summarise the latest moves to improve accountability and discourage excessive risk taking in the banking sector

The regulations affecting financial services firms seem ever increasing. A new framework aimed at making senior decision makers in the sector more accountable for their actions is going live this month (see ‘Getting ready for the Senior Managers Regime’, by Joanna Chatterton and Peter Wright, ELJ166, December 2015/January 2016, p12). This article considers three further developments intended to tighten the rules affecting City workers and deter or expose wrongdoing:

Kate Kelleher sets out the government’s proposals on how to improve the rules that govern the taxation of personal services companies

The way the UK tax system operates means that people pay different amounts of tax depending on whether they work as an employee, are self employed or work through their own limited company, often referred to as a personal services company (PSC). The legislation for the taxation of intermediaries is referred to as IR35 after the press release issued following a statement by the chancellor in the 1999 budget. It was introduced in 2000 to tackle the avoidance of employment taxes by those who choose to work through intermediaries, primarily their own PSC. This type of arrangement is common in a number of sectors – particularly IT, entertainment, construction, transport, security, oil and gas and the public sector – and it is also used by those with a portfolio of appointments.

Juliette Graham summarises the employment aspects of the final recommendations made by the Fair and Effective Markets Review

The ‘age of irresponsibility is over’, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said when launching the Fair and Effective Markets Review: Final Report on 10 June 2015.

Gemma Parker examines the findings of a recent survey into the likely uptake of flexible leave for mothers and fathers during the first year of their child’s life

Shared parental leave (SPL) is a completely new type of family leave that will be available to parents of babies due or children placed for adoption from 5 April 2015. As has been widely publicised, for the first time eligible parents will have the opportunity to take leave in the first year of their child’s life in a fully flexible way. Working parents will be able to share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of statutory pay, which they can take either at the same time or independently of one another. This flexibility presents an opportunity for employers as well as a number of practical challenges.

Simon Kerr-Davis and Gemma Parker take a detailed look at the practical and legal issues that employers face when deciding whether to offer enhancements to employees on SPL

Many employers currently choose to enhance pay above the statutory rate for women on maternity leave. Although there is no statutory obligation on such employers to also enhance pay for men and women on shared parental leave (SPL), where men are not offered (or are offered less) enhanced pay, there is a risk of successful discrimination claims. There are also many other reasons why employers might consider enhancing pay for SPL, including recruitment and retention objectives, matching employees’ expectations and employer branding and ethos.

Jillian Naylor and Michal Stein analyse the government’s response to its call for evidence on the whistleblowing regime

In 2013/14, the employment tribunals received over 2,200 whistleblowing-related claims, with the most controversial cases being pored over in the press. Moreover, whistleblowing reports to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) increased by 35% during 2013. Against this backdrop, the government recently published its response to its whistleblowing framework call for evidence, which acknowledged that the legal framework does not always fulfil its aim of preventing malpractice. Few measures are, however, to be introduced as a result of the government’s review, which has led Public Concern at Work (the whistleblowing charity) to describe the response as ‘a missed opportunity’ that leaves ‘some gaping holes in the law’.

Employers need to take care over Sunday working despite a recent ruling that a Christian care worker did not have to be given the day off, warns Philippa O’Malley

The Court of Appeal has held that an employer was justified in requiring a Christian employee to work on Sundays, notwithstanding her belief that Sunday should be a day of rest. The main issue in Mba v London Borough of Merton [2013] was the relevance of how widely held the belief was to the proportionality of the discriminatory disadvantage suffered by the employee.

Mirit Ehrenstein summarises the requirements introduced last month aimed at curbing excessive executive pay

Directors’ pay for listed companies is a hot topic that seems destined never to cool down. The original disclosure regime was introduced in 2002 and included an advisory shareholders’ vote on remuneration reports. However, it has widely been regarded as ineffective in curbing excessive executive pay and as failing to link pay properly to company performance.

Emma Williamson looks at why it may not be practical to re-employ a dismissed employee even if this is what they want

This article considers how a breakdown in mutual trust and confidence affects an application for reinstatement or re-engagement in a tribunal case. In the light of recent case law, it also sets out practical tips when dealing with such an application where trust and confidence is an issue.

Catrin Llewellyn and David Speakman discuss how effective the introduction of employment tribunal fees and new procedural rules will be in preventing vexatious claims

If, like us, you have been enjoying the new series of The Apprentice, perhaps you too have cast your mind back to April this year, when the excitement of the television series was eclipsed by the drama in the East London Employment Tribunal. Stella English, a former winner of the show, brought constructive dismissal and whistleblowing claims against Amshold Group Ltd, the technology group owned by Lord Sugar.

Alex Beidas examines the potential impact of the EU’s planned limit on bonuses in the financial sector

The EU’s proposed bonus cap looks likely to become law in 2014. This article summarises the proposal and explores its likely ramifications, whether the UK government can do anything to contest it and how firms should prepare to deal with it.

Kirstin Bardel reviews some of the key modifications to the Construction Act, due to come into force imminently

Changes to the Construction Act 1996 will come into force on 1 October 2011. The changes will apply to construction contracts and consultants’ appointments entered into on or after that date.