Employment and Benefits

By Paul Davies and Michael Green

A new pensions directive was passed by the European Parliament on 24 November securing 512 votes (only 77 votes against and 40 abstentions), requiring EU workplace pension funds to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. This is considered a ‘landmark’ moment for responsible investment.

The new pensions directive stipulates that:

  1. ESG criteria is to be considered in investment decisions and their practical implementation should be disclosed in regular reports.
  1. Pension funds have to include their ‘stranded asset‘ strategy as part of their risk management procedure.
  1. The integration of ESG considerations will not be considered as conflicting with fund managers’ fiduciary duties. Fund managers will not be exposed to legal liability for an alleged failure to act prudently by prioritising ESG factors over financial risk returns in their investment decisions.

By Catherine Drinnan

Paying employees for their annual leave in the UK used to be viewed as a straightforward process, with many companies calculating holiday pay at the employee’s basic pay rate.

However, in 2014, several employment law cases raised the issue of whether, during annual leave, employees should also receive an amount in respect of overtime and commission. One case indicated that even non-guaranteed overtime needed to be included in holiday pay if the overtime and commission were part of “normal remuneration”. In essence, if an employee regularly undertook overtime work, then they should expect to receive the same level of remuneration while away on holiday.

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