More Pay For Christmas , but Only If YOU DO NOT GET SICK

Recent reports have surfaced of developments within the Argos business. The company has accepted that offers have been made to staff to increase the basic hourly rate by 80p if a person manages to stay in work during a relevant week, but only covering the busy period leading up to Christmas.


If during the week in question the worker has time off due to sickness, the reports have confirmed that they will not benefit from the increased hourly rate and my assumption must be that they will receive only the basic current rate of pay for work done. I am not an expert on Argos terms and conditions of employment, but I think I can safely presume that many of the workers are employed on rates of pay at the lower end of the range of hourly rates in the economy and I will also presume that the majority do not enjoy sick pay arrangements. Therefore, if a person had the misfortune to be unwell during the period of operation of this scheme, they are going to receive less than fit co-workers for the same job, and they will suffer the double penalty of receiving probably only SSP whilst away from work.
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Two weeks ago my employment law blog addressed the important issue of employment status, and I considered the special issues arising with new ways of working. For most people in work this is not a problem as they will be classed as employees, and they have all ordinary employment rights, subject to length of service. The on demand or gig economy has increasing relevance for workers and in my recent blog I referred to the common requirement for workers to be classed as self-employed, when in reality the staff are working for someone else.

Recently, and Employment Tribunal issued a Judgment in relation to Uber drivers, deciding that they were not self-employed, and instead they were “workers” as defined in the Employment Rights Act 1996. The Tribunal decision does not bind other Tribunals, but it is inevitable that Uber will appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, providing an opportunity for the higher courts to make a binding decision, with implications for others in similar industries. Over several years I expect that the Uber case will pass through the different levels of appeal, possibly reaching the Supreme Court.
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Strictly Equality


I find myself writing this blog, often reacting to news stories involving the world of work and employment.  Many stories relate to issues in equality not always between workers and employers, such as the recent Northern Ireland case involving cake decoration.

This week the news found an interesting story about discrimination, and not involving a workplace.  It also provided a story about ballroom dancing which was not about Ed Balls or his sad demise from the Strictly series.

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