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Two of the three Tesco board members have announced their departure, leaving only one woman on a board consisting of 12 directors. This will push the retailer even further from meeting government targets on board diversity, which stands at 25% at present; the average across all FTSE companies is 22.8%. Business Secretary Vince Cable published a league table earlier this month to name and shame those companies with the lowest female representation at board level and the departures will see Tesco drop down those rankings.
Two of Tesco's three female board members are leaving the troubled supermarket this week. 
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According to a report by economic forecaster EY Item Club, real wages in the UK are predicted to increase for the first time since the financial crisis hit in 2007. This is partly due to inflation reaching a record low of 0.3% in January 2015. Whilst EY predicts growth, it expects that it will be gradual. Despite this, it is welcome news for many who have seen no increase to their wages in some time.
UK workers are set to see their real pay rise this year for the first time since 2007, according to a report from the EY Item Club.
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Those who are on sick leave for more than 4 weeks will be referred by their GP to a fitness-for-work test under a new scheme. However, the British Medical Association has voiced concerns over the plans and indicated that it is prepared to boycott the scheme if it finds that people are being forced back into work. The scheme is expected to roll out nationwide in spring.
GPs will be expected to refer patients to a company that will draw up a plan for their return to work
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Following the decrease in employment tribunal claims, Business Secretary Vince Cable has ordered an investigation into whether the introduction of fees in employment tribunals is an obstruction to justice. Since the introduction of fees in July 2013, the number of sex discrimination claims fell by 90% and race discrimination claims were down by 60%, giving rise to a concern by some that fees are disadvantaging some potential claimants. Results of the review are expected to be published in a few weeks and will be shared with the Ministry of Justice.
Vince Cable orders inquiry into slump in employment tribunal cases after fees were introduced by coalition
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According to a survey by Towers Watson, an increasing proportion of businesses are cutting back on #employee benefits. Almost a third of mid-sized firms are spending only 11-15% of employee #salaries on benefits. One explanation is a change in staff #pensionschemes.
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The ECJ’s Advocate General, Nils Wahl, has given his opinion in relation to the Woolworths case  on the reach of collective redundancy rules. In his view, the rules should be seen as applying to shops at an individual level rather than the entire parent company, so that branches with 20 staff or fewer need not incur the cost of collective consultations and compensation payments. The ECJ has yet to make a final ruling on the matter; whilst the Advocate General’s opinion is not binding, it is often influential.
Employers are one step closer to being able to return to the “pre-Woolworths status quo” when it comes to redundancy consultation. 
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Official statistics show that 1.8 million people were on zero-hour contracts at the peak of summer in August 2014. Further, the statistics revealed that 697,000 people identified that they were engaged under a zero-hour contract as their main job. This figure represents 2.3% of all those in employment. The ONS suggests that the increase from 586,000 in 2013 may be attributable to greater awareness resulting in more people being able to identify that their employment contract provides for no guaranteed hours.
Firms in the UK used 1.8 million zero-hours contracts at the height of last summer, official statistics show.
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A new survey reveals considerable differences in opportunities for #careerdevelopment offered to younger staff and those offered to workers #over50. The survey suggested that as little as 15% of older workers have discussed career progression with their line managers in the last 6 months, compared to 29% of younger #employees. Given that retirement ages seem set to increase, this is a concerning development.
Workers over the age of 50 are considerably less likely to have opportunities for career progression and skills development
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The number of unemployed people has fallen by 91,000 in the 3 months to December, as revealed by ONS figures. The #employment rate is now of 73.2%, and has only been matched once since records began- although the #unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds remains unchanged.
The number of people out of work in the UK has fallen further, official figures show, while wage growth has continued to outpace inflation.
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Tesco’s new #chiefexecutive is thought to be planning up to 9,000 job cuts. #Redundancies are expected to affect the head office, the management positions of existing stores, as well as the staff from 43 closing outlets, as announced last month.
Up to 9,000 jobs, including team leaders at larger supermarkets, to be shed a month after 43 store closures were announced
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A review has found that a "significant proportion" #whistleblowers in the NHS are reluctant to raise concerns, either because they feel they will not be listened to or because they fear repercussions. Sir Robert Francis QC, chair of the review,  found that positive changes had been made to improve transparency but that more needs to be done to "normalise" the reporting of concerns.
NHS trusts will have to appoint a guardian to help whistleblowers in England, ministers confirm after a report said they faced bullying.
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In a speech given today at the British Chamber of Commerce, David Cameron plans to call on major #employers to increase #wages. Mr Cameron thinks economic success is not shown just in GDPs, "but in people’s pay packets and bank accounts and lifestyles".
The Prime Minister will order businesses to give staff a pay rise, claiming that falling costs mean firms have more cash to reward their employees
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23 Austin Friars London EC2N 2QP
23 Austin FriarsGBLondonEC2N 2QP
+44 20 3542 5400bdbf.co.uk
Legal Services
BDBF is a specialist employment law boutique based in the City of London. BDBF was set up by recognised leaders in the employment law field to deliver high quality advice that exceeds clients’ expectations and resolves (whether through litigation or settlement) the biggest workplace disputes.

We are most well known for the work we do on behalf of senior executives working in the world’s biggest financial institutions although we have a wealth of experience advising employees across a wide range of industries. We help individuals resolve the issues they face in their working lives in a way that leaves them financially protected and with their careers and reputations intact. We also work with businesses to pre-empt employment disputes and to find commercial and pragmatic solutions to their employee challenges.

The lawyers in the team have been ranked as amongst the best in the country by the independent directories: Chambers, The Legal 500 and Super Lawyers. Gareth Brahams and Arpita Dutt were cited in The Lawyer magazine as two of the ‘Hot 100 Lawyers to Watch’ in 2012 and 2011 respectively.

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