April 2017 Employment Law Update Bulletin

Listed Under: News & Bulletins

Welcome to the April 2017 Employment Law update in conjunction with our employment law partners Shield HR. In this edition, we report on some recent cases of interest.

Again the Gig Economy is an issue considered by a recent tribunal and is reported below. In addition, the number of statutory rates are increased in April and these are detailed at the end of this update.


Case Law

Discrimination and Unreasonableness

In the case of Kent Constabulary v Bowler, the issue of whether unreasonable conduct on the part of the employer amounted to unlawful discrimination was considered by the EAT.

The EAT held that inadequate, unreasonable or unjustified treatment in itself, does not mean there has been unlawful discrimination. The EAT went on to say it is a sad fact some individuals often treat others unreasonably for reasons other than race, sex or one of the other protected characteristics. Note: This case is another reminder that claims of unlawful discrimination are essentially claims of comparison rather than claims of reasonableness.

Gig Economy

In the matter of Boxer v Excel, an employment tribunal has concluded that Mr Boxer, who worked as a cycle courier, was a worker and not a self-employed contractor. This is another case of the Gig Economy and follows on from Pimlico Plumbers and the Uber Drivers cases in which it was held the individuals were workers and not self-employed contractors. These cases show the real problem for employers in attempting to adopt an employment model using self-employment where the individuals in question are central to the delivery of the service. The harsh reality is that with individuals who are key to delivering the central services of the business it is often impractical to operate without mutuality of obligation, the requirement for personal service and some control of when and how the job is done. Such matters point towards worker or employee status.

Employment Tribunal Fees  

The Supreme Court heard last week the appeal by UNISON against the introduction of employment tribunal fees. A judgment on this will be issued in due course. The court's decision may result in changes to the tribunal fee regime.


The Government has published a consultation paper on how caste discrimination in Britain should be dealt with. The consultation ends on 18.7.17.


NMW effective from 1.4.17.

25 and over £7.50
21-24 £7.05
18-20 £5.60
Under 18 £4.05
Apprentice £3.50

SMP, SAP, SPP effective from 2.4.17.


SSP effective from 6.4.17.


Statutory Redundancy Pay effective from 6.4.17.  

£489 statutory weekly max

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Do not hesitate to forward this update to anyone who may find it of interest.