1) Many UK employers currently offer tax-free childcare vouchers through a salary sacrifice arrangement in order to benefit from savings in National Insurance Contributions. In a challenge to the long understood position that those childcare vouchers must continue to be provided through maternity leave, the court in Peninsula Business Services v Donaldson decided that it is not discriminatory to offer employees a salary sacrifice scheme with a condition that their childcare vouchers will be suspended during maternity leave. Note, however, that where employers provide childcare vouchers as a benefit in addition to salary (i.e. outside a salary sacrifice arrangement), they are required to continue to provide them during maternity leave.
2) When an employee of retailer Morrisons, viciously attacked a customer at one of its petrol stations, Morrisons was found responsible (and therefore liable) for its employee’s misconduct. The case provides important guidance on the scope of the “close connection” test, which is essentially the test that the UK courts use to determine whether an employer is responsible for the acts of their employees. (Mohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc)
3) In the continuing saga of holiday pay cases, a UK court in Lock v British Gas Trading has confirmed that employers must take results-based commission into consideration when calculating an employee’s “European” holiday pay – that is the 4 weeks’ paid holiday employees are entitled to by virtue of European law. This is consistent with another decision (Bear Scotland v Fulton 2015), which decided that non-guaranteed overtime pay should be included when calculating holiday pay. The decision does not apply to the next 1.6 weeks of annual leave provided by the UK regulations, nor any contractual entitlement over that.