Employment law trends and potential occupational hazards

Employment law trends and potential occupational hazards

The Law Society Gazette

Reintroduction of Employment Tribunal fees

Deborah Margolis, a senior associate at GQ|Littler, believes a steep decline in claims is unlikely, but says the new charges may deter some on lower incomes from bringing low-value, low-merit, or vexatious claims.

Menopause claims

Natasha Adom, partner and head of client training at GQ|Littler, cautions against automatically categorising as a disability a condition which is, after all, a natural occurrence in a woman’s life. This could effectively stigmatise older women and act as a disincentive to employers from hiring them in the first place, she says.

Labour's pledge to working people

In a new deal for Working People, deputy leader of the Labour party Angela Rayner pledged that: ‘From day one, a Labour government will strengthen workers’ rights and make Britain work for working for people.’

Although detailed proposals have yet to be set out in an election manifesto, Stephanie Compson, a professional support lawyer at GQ|Littler, observes that Labour’s plans ‘may require a radical shift in how employers approach issues in the workplace’ and ‘lead to a reset of the UK culture around trade unions’.


Following Brexit, UK courts are no longer bound by the principles of EU jurisprudence, which is generating uncertainty and likely to result in increased nlitigation.

There are also many legislative changes to be assimilated this year, notes Philip Cameron, a partner at GQ|Littler – though it is unclear how many will prove transitory if a Labour government is elected at the next general election. Speculation is growing that Labour will dilute its ‘New Deal’ amid fierce lobbying from employers.

One such area relates to carrying over holiday and holiday pay, he explains, under a move to codify case law arising from EU law so that certain rights are retained. The legislation, suggests Cameron, is a missed opportunity to overhaul the ‘notoriously complex’ law. For example, he says, the government could have legislated to ensure that all holiday is treated in the same way and that there is no difference between statutory leave and contractual leave.

‘In that work notice, the employer sets out what work needs to be done and by whom to ensure that minimum service levels are maintained during strike action,’ Cameron explains.

Remote working

As workplaces adjust from being fully remote during Covid to a more hybrid working environment, Raoul Parekh, a partner at GQ|Littler, says the firm is seeing employers seeking to enforce in-office requirements. He predicts there will be challenges to denials of flexible working requests or unfair dismissal claims.