In this month’s Workplace Law we have a video from Nick Hobden, Head of Employment, where he explains the use of drug and alcohol tests in the workplace and how employers should handle them. We have some articles on the recent changes to Covid restrictions from 24 February, and the vaccine U-turn for the NHS and care workers, and we also explore the four-day week trial and the impact of this on businesses and employees.
In this month’s Workplace Law we have a video from Nick Hobden, Head of Employment, where he answers some key questions for employers around Covid vaccinations, self-isolating, SSP and CSP. We also have some articles on flexible working and the cost of refusal, the increase to the National Minimum Wage, and also our thoughts on the recent dismissal of a care home worker for refusal of a vaccine.
In this month’s Workplace Law we discuss the temporary change in the law regarding statutory sick pay (SSP) which now means that self-certification for sick leave (providing evidence of illness) has been extended from 7 days to 28 days. We look at the rising cases of the Omicron variant and how employers can prepare, and we also have 'part two' of our two part series relating to restrictive covenants.
In this month’s Workplace Law we discuss the fire and rehire process and what employers need to consider, we look at how to protect confidential and sensitive information through the use of restrictive covenants in employee contracts, especially during a time when the job market is booming, and we also take a look at ICO’s call for help to shape a new user-friendly resource to replace the ICO’s existing guidance on data protection and employment practices.
In this month’s Workplace Law we discuss whether employers can make Covid-19 vaccinations compulsory and what considerations need to be made. We give a summary of the gender pay gap reporting results that would normally be published on 5 April each year but as a result of the pandemic, employers were given until 5 October 2021 to report their figures for 2020/2021. We also highlight why it is so important for employers to offer menopause support, and how they can do this, following a rise in cases where the menopause is referenced in employment tribunals.
The government have already made the vaccine mandatory for staff in the care sector, with workers needing to be double-jabbed by 11 November 2021 (unless they qualify for an exemption). Following the recent closure of government consultation into making vaccination a condition of deployment for frontline workers in health and care settings, the health secretary has stated that the government is also “considering” making the vaccine mandatory for NHS staff.
In this month’s Workplace Law we look at the proposed changes to the rules on when employees can request flexible working. This is a key topic for employers to pay attention to, and we also explore the repercussions of not doing so, in an article examining a recent case of indirect discrimination.
The team recently hosted our latest HR Club, looking at how to prevent and combat bullying and harassment claims in the workplace. This was really well attended and is clearly a subject of great interest. We have included a write up of the session below, as well as a guest article from Andy Hillier of the Association of Chairs, who has written a piece on dealing with media questions about bullying claims.
We would also like to welcome the newest member of our team, Jessica Wells.
In this month’s Workplace Law, we explore the options for restructuring and redundancies as the furlough scheme comes to a close at the end of September, we look at the key signs of stress and distress and how to combat burn out, and also discuss what is best practice when it comes to testing employees for COVID-19. If you have any questions about any of these issues please do get in touch.
Whilst the working landscape has dramatically changed over the last year or so, disciplinary and grievance procedures continue to apply in the same way as before the pandemic began.
After being extended several times, the furlough scheme is due to finally close at the end of September this year. The government has been encouraging this wind down of the furlough scheme since the beginning of July, when employers had to begin paying 10% of their furloughed workers’ wages.
Alison Sparks and Grace Mercer recently wrote a piece for New Law Journal on the importance of communication between landlords and tenants.
Since the introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) in March 2020, the government estimates that over 11.6 million jobs have been furloughed and 1.9 million jobs still remain on furlough. However, following ‘Freedom Day’, more and more businesses have begun the return to the traditional working environment or are in the process of planning to.
As many businesses start to return to the workplace now that the ‘work from home’ advice has been lifted, employers are starting to grapple with a range of potential issues. In this month’s Workplace Law, we examine a selection of these, including responding to bullying and harassment in the workplace, how best to support employees with mental health issues, and how best to approach the somewhat thorny issue of mask wearing. If you have any questions about any of these issues please do get in touch.
Employers welcoming staff back into the workplace may wish to introduce processes and protocols around encouraging their employees to be regularly tested for COVID, to help reduce the spread of the virus and keep employees and customers safe. Here, we look at the key things businesses need to consider when implementing testing programmes.
Recent Government guidance recommends a ‘gradual return to the workplace over the summer’. Yet with cases rising rapidly and concern about new, more easily transmissible variants, some employees may have real anxiety about returning to the workplace or their journey to work if it involves public transport.
There is no longer a legal requirement for people in England to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces, the Government guidance now states that businesses should “encourage and recommend” visitors and staff to wear face masks. This has prompted some confusion and backlash from business groups. Here we explore what employers need to consider.
While for the fortunate majority COVID-19 is a relatively short-lived and mild illness, for others it can be a very serious and sadly sometimes fatal disease. For some, the virus can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection. This ‘long COVID’ could hugely impact someone's ability to work or cause them to take prolonged periods of sickness absence.
Following the Prime Minister’s most recent announcement, the work-from-home advice will officially be lifted on July 19th. This means that businesses can finally begin to regain some sense of normality with more workers returning to the workplace.
The roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine has been welcomed by most of the nation. In particular, employers and business owners are hoping that the uptake in vaccinations will make it much easier for businesses to open, stay open and not have to contend with staff shortages due to staff having to isolate due to exposure to COVID-19.
The Prime Minister yesterday announced that, subject to a final review of data on 12 July, it will no longer be necessary for people to work from home after the 19 July. Yet with daily cases predicted to potentially go as high as 100,000 once all restrictions are lifted, many people may be reluctant to return to the office.
Although current government advice until 19 July remains that everyone who can work from home should do so, many business have already begun the transition back into an office working environment or are in the process of planning this. Returning to the office after a lengthy absence, whether from a career break or maternity leave, can be a daunting prospect at the best of times
In this month’s edition of Workplace Law we have a reminder about the changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) coming into effect from tomorrow 1 July. We discuss the legalities of monitoring employees who work from home and we also look at hybrid working, and considerations for employees working from home.
As employers look for ways they can ensure that productivity levels do not suffer through home working, some are turning their attention to the practice of employee monitoring and how it operates as the employer’s eyes and ears in managing employee output remotely. In this article we explore the legalities of such an approach and what any business considering employee monitoring needs to carefully consider.
The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined our understanding of flexible working and has seen a huge rise in remote and latterly hybrid working.
The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill looks to change the rules around ground rents and is currently being debated in Parliament. Alison Sparks looks at what it means for leaseholders.
With the end to the moratorium on commercial evictions looming, British Property Federation (BPF) has published data regarding the payment of rent during the moratorium. Alison Sparks looks at what this means for the industry.
All arbitrations registered at the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on or after 1 January 2021 are subject to the new 2021 Arbitration Rules (the 2021 Rules).
From 4 May 2021, individuals can apply for a moratorium to shield debts from creditors' enforcement action.
“Could I see your vaccine passport please?” This a stark request for personal special category of data that many of us could be facing very soon, and as the UK begins to unlock national restrictions and the COVID-19 vaccine programme progresses, the question of whether vaccine passports should play a part in this process continues to dominant the COVID-19 related news.
WH Smith Retail Holdings Limited v Commerz Real Investmentgesellshaft MBH is one of the few decisions we have seen so far indicating how the Courts are approaching the impact of COVID-19 in unopposed lease renewals under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954. Alison Sparks looks at what the ruling means for landlord and tenants alike going forward.
Your situation is common, but ultimately you remain liable to pay the rent (and service charges if applicable) despite being unable to trade for many months.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the government introduced the Companies etc. (Filing Requirements) (Temporary Modifications) Regulations 2020, which extended the timeline for a number of key filing deadlines for Companies House.
On 17 March 2021, the Government released new guidance for people in the category of clinically extremely vulnerable.
Business landlords and tenants are encouraged to follow the Code of Practice for Commercial Property Relationships whilst the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic continue.
Despite current lockdown rules in the UK stating that people should ‘work from home wherever possible’ and that employers should ‘take every step possible’ to achieve this, there have been numerous reports in the media recently about people feeling they are being asked to attend the workplace unnecessarily or unsafely.
This month has seen the publication of the full details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus (‘CJRB’).
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has initiated change in the way we work as well as how we view the use of the office.
The High Court has handed down judgment in an expedited test case, which examined whether a selection of business interruption (BI) insurance policies provide cover in relation to COVID-19. The Court found in favour of the policyholders on the majority of the key issues.
Jason Varney recently wrote an article for Acquisitions International looking at opportunities in the M&A market.
Faye Cook from our corporate and commercial team responds to the Chancellor’s statement.
The ban on evictions, introduced in response to the COVID-19 crisis, had been extended again to 20 September 2020 following an announcement on 21 August 2020 from Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP.
As the various coronavirus business loans schemes start to come to an end, Faye Cook looks at how they have been received and why its not too late to still take advantage of these schemes, if you act now.
Treasury Secretary Stephen Barclay announced to the house of commons today that the moratorium on commercial property evictions based on rent arrears in England is to be extended from 30 June 2021 to 25 March 2022.