12 Months of 2023: October

As we reach the end of the year, our 12 days of Christmas countdown revisits the key events of each month

In October, the Information Commissioner's Office published workplace monitoring guidance, the Supreme Court made a landmark ruling on holiday pay and the Real Living Wage increased.

ICO publishes employer guidance on lawful workplace monitoring

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) published new guidance for employers implementing monitoring, such as health and safety surveillance cameras, keystroke and activity tracking and time-logging productivity tools, in the workplace.

Compliant with UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), the document outlines legal requirements relating to employee monitoring as well as actions deemed good practice.

Legal requirements include employers’ duty to make workers aware of the nature, extent and reasons for monitoring, and clearly define the purpose for doing so.

It also outlines the terms on which employers have a lawful basis for processing workers’ data.


Supreme Court holiday pay ruling makes it easier for employees to reclaim underpayment

The Supreme Court made a ruling that will make it easier for employees to reclaim unlawful deductions from their holiday pay.

In the case of Chief Constable of The Police Service of Northern Ireland and another v Agnew and others, the court found the unlawful payment of Agnew and others was linked by the same error: the claimants’ holiday pay had been calculated based on basic pay only, without considering their 'normal' remuneration, which included overtime.

Paul Mander, head of employment at Penningtons Manches Cooper, said: “Where overtime and commission have not correctly been included in the calculation of holiday pay, employers will no longer be able to ‘break’ the chain of underpayments by making a correctly calculated payment.

“Nor will employees be penalised if they have a gap of more than three months between periods of annual leave.”

Real living wage increases to £12 in cost of living boost

The Living Wage Foundation’s real living wage rose to £12 an hour across the UK, a £1.10 increase.

In London, it has increased by £1.20 to £13.15 an hour.

Unlike the government-set national living wage, the real living wage is a voluntary rate of pay that employers can choose to give to their staff. 

Over 460,000 people working for the 14,000 real living wage employers will receive this pay rise.

Living Wage Foundation research found 60% of those earning below the real living wage have visited a food bank in the past year and 39% are regularly skipping meals for financial reasons.

The government’s national living wage is £10.42, following an increase in April 2023. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced that this will rise to £11 in April 2024.

A full-time worker on the new, real living wage rate would earn £3,081 a year more than a worker earning the current government minimum. 

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