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Employment Law Journal: October 2016

Ambiguous legal protection and subconscious bias by recruiters are making it difficult for Muslim women who wear a headscarf to find work. Arpita Dutt and Rolleen McDonnell investigate

Muslim women are 71% more likely to be unemployed than white Christians with the same education, according to a recent House of Commons Select Committee report. The report describes the experience of many Muslim women who wear the headscarf, who commented that they were unsuccessful in obtaining roles when they wore it and successful when they took it off.

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that a complex class action should be heard in the employment tribunal rather than the High Court, reports Christopher Tutton

The Court of Appeal decision on 22 June in Asda Stores Ltd v Brierley [2016] highlights some of the difficulties respondents face when defending themselves against equal pay claims.

Public authorities need to update their employment policies and procedures in light of a new requirement for their customer-facing workers to be proficient in English, explain Gemma Cawthray and Charlotte Williams

On 21 July 2016, the Cabinet Office and Home Office published a code requiring customer-facing workers in the public sector to be fluent in English or Welsh. The code of practice on the English language requirement for public sector workers (the code), together with a related impact assessment, sets out details of this new ‘fluency duty’ and gives guidance on meeting the obligations. This article examines the requirements and what they mean for public sector employers.

Clare Gregory rounds up recent case law and developments affecting employers and their advisers

Åsa Waring and Dominic Boon consider ways to curb growing discrimination against expectant mothers and women returning from maternity leave

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills commissioned a programme of research to investigate the prevalence of pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace in 2015. The researchers might well have expected to find a reduction in discrimination compared to similar 2005 research conducted by the Equal Opportunities Commission. Yet the research in fact found an increase in such discrimination, with the following findings being particularly notable:

Keystone Law

Stephen Levinson looks at the latest moves by the City to curb boardroom excess ahead of an expected intervention by the government

Excessive executive pay is a running sore on the reputation of British capitalism. According to the High Pay Centre, the think tank devoted to the subject, the total pay for a chief executive in a FTSE 100 company in the UK now averages £6m a year, or 150 times average worker income. Perhaps the most telling statistic is that this ratio has doubled in ten years as worker pay has stagnated.

After two decades, the law on disability discrimination continues to pose challenges for employers and their advisers, reflects Antonia Blackwell

Protection against discrimination on the grounds of disability has been in place in the UK for just over 20 years, yet the case law continues to develop, creating difficult practical issues for employers.