Howden Employment Seminar
On Tuesday 26 November, Matt Jenkin had the privilege of speaking at the Howden employment seminar at the British Museum in London. For those that were unable to make the seminar, Matt has provided a brief overview of the event and an insight into the session he provided.
Brief overview by Matt Jenkin, Moorcrofts Employment Partner
As always with the Howden events – excellent venue and organisation with some great speakers. From talking to the attendees in the breaks and looking at the feedback forms, the 200 + delegates that attended really enjoyed it.
We heard from Steve Herbert from Howden looking at what employers should be doing in terms of employee benefits to support their employees. What struck me was the discussion around the number of employees that may be in financial difficulty and what steps employers can take to assist including workplace finance options. Well worth employers investigating this further if you want to both help your workforce and stand out in a crowded recruitment and retention marketplace.
We also had a key note session from Paul McGee – the “sumo guy”. Paul is a well-known speaker and bestselling author and his session on how to use “sumo” (shut up and move on) to help cope with uncertainty and change was a timely session with some great learning points.
My session (thankfully before Paul’s key note!) was an employment law update. Whilst I don’t think that we are looking at any seismic shifts in employment law, there are a number of changes coming into force in April 2020 that will have an impact on employers. I talked about the impact of the change to the reference period for calculating holiday from 12 weeks to 52 weeks and the likely increase in holiday pay costs. In terms of the April 2020 changes, I also covered the abolition of the Swedish Derogation and what this means for agency workers, changes to taxation of termination payments, parental bereavement leave and the need to review employment contracts in light of the increased information that will need to be included in them.
It was clear from delegates comments in advance of the session, that the IR35/off-payroll working changes in the private sector, was of real interest. My main take away for the attendees was a need to audit their contractor relationships to ascertain how big an issue this will be if they don’t fall within the small employer exemption.
In terms of case law, having mentioned the Tilman v Egon Zehnder case at previous Howden seminars, I was able to give an update following the Supreme Court decision. Whilst undoubtedly helpful to employers, I did caution against reliance on the courts to rectify poor drafting when it comes to post-termination restrictions.
My session finished up with a look to the future following the flurry of consultation papers released by the Government in the summer. With extensions to redundancy protections in pregnancy/maternity leave situations, restrictions on the use of non-disclosure clauses in settlement agreement and the strengthening of protections in respect of sexual harassment, there is plenty to keep employers busy.
If you are interested in Matt Jenkin delivering an employment law update session to your business, please do get in touch: 01628 470011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.