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Following the introduction of the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, one of the changes that has often been overlooked by employers has been the impact on the provision of references. Providing a reference about an employee to a prospective employer, will generally involve the disclosure and therefore the processing of personal data and so will accordingly need to be compliant with data protection law.

The concept of “discrimination arising from disability” was introduced by Equality Act 2010. It replaced the former concept of “disability-related discrimination”, which had become very difficult for claimants to establish due to a decision by the House of Lords which altered the way in which comparators in such cases were viewed. The Government felt that it needed to reduce the burden on claimants by making it easier for them to establish a case where they had experienced detrimental treatment because of their disability.

Economic conditions are improving for many employers, with confidence rising amid signs of recovery in the energy industry – that could in turn lead to an increase in the use of employee share schemes and other forms of employee incentivisation.

Despite the recent focus on gender and sexual harassment issues it is worth recalling that there other forms of discrimination in the workplace which merit attention. Recently the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) campaigning organisation, Stonewall published a “Work Report" indicating the outcome of a survey of more than 5000 LGBT people about their life in Britain today.   The results provide some uncomfortable reading for those concerned about workplace equality issues. They include key findings that:

After successfully quashing a legal challenge in the Supreme Court, in a bid to reduce alcohol related harm, minimum pricing of alcoholic drinks will become a part of the Law in Scotland with effect from today, 1 May 2018.

When faced with the need to reduce staff costs, one of the options employers often consider is changing terms and conditions of employment, for example reducing salaries or benefits to bring down costs while avoiding the need for redundancies. However, a contract of employment, like any other contract, requires the consent of both parties for changes to be effective. This can leave employers in difficult situations where employees refuse to consent to variations in their contracts which would be disadvantageous to them.

To establish that they have been directly discriminated against under the Equality Act 2010, a person needs to show that they have been treated less favourably than another person, known as a comparator, whose circumstances are not materially different than their own, because of one of the protected characteristics (such as sex).

The beginning of April brings important changes in employment law. This week, we highlight some of the most notable developments to have on your radar.

Chambers UK 2018

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