In Greenburn's first Quarterly Update, we discuss the impact of Ethical Veganism and the Government's changes due to roll out from the 6th April 2020 - including contractual updates and IR35.
We have been updating our clients contracts and Employee Handbooks inline with the new updates which can be quite significant - if you need support with this, please get in touch.
You may have heard about Casamitjana v League Against Cruel Sports. Mr C is an ethical vegan and claimed he was dismissed due to his beliefs.
At the first stage of the Employment Tribunal, Judge Postle tackled the question as to whether veganism should be a protected belief under the Equality Act 2010. He decided that an 'ethical vegan' did meet the criteria (detailed in the case of Conisbee v Crossley Farms Ltd 2019) and was eligible for protection under the Equality Act 2010 "Religion or Belief". This does not include 'dietary veganism'. What does this mean for you?
We will be issuing an update for your Handbooks to cover this new ruling (although a decision from an Employment Tribunal is not legally binding, it does have important effects) to include 'ethical veganism' under Equality. Things to consider would be:
1. It's unlikely that any uniforms contain silk or fur, but wool is something to watch out for; or what about your chairs - is there any sneaky leather lurking around?
2. Do you provide separate food storage for vegans and vegetarians? If you offer food in the office, or order in lunches (sometimes), are you catering efficiently for the vegan population?
3. The above case came about due to questions of ethics, being very clear about your organisation's views; for example, if the organisation is against cruelty in farming, then it'd be sensible for the organisation to not associate with other organisations who have counter-views. Do you know how your partners align?
On 6th April 2020 the rules around providing written particulars is changing.
Currently an Employer can verbally agree a contract with a Employee and are expected to provide written particulars within the first two months - those rules however only extend to 'Employees'.
When the new rules come into force, Employers are expected to provide the written particulars to all workers on the first day of employment - Seasonal Workers included. The differentiation between Workers and Employees will have been removed in this element of employment.
So, what do you need to have ready on the first day for a new Worker/Employee?
A written statement principal document, either a contract or a letter of engagement, containing:
Further terms that can be provided latterly in instalments:
As you will know there are changes to off-payroll working rules if you are a client receiving services from a worker through an intermediary.
The new rules will come into force on the 6th April 2020, and there are different levels of impact depending on the size, turnover and status of the Company. Ensure your accountants have kept you up-to-date with what changes you may see and the impact.
**EDIT** Due to the current circumstances presented by the Coronavirus pandemic, these new rules have been delayed for the foreseeable.