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.
Since April 2017, private and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees have been legally required to publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap by the 4 April each year.
The 18 October marked World Menopause Day, which aims to help raise awareness of the menopause and support for those going through it.
It is important for both employers and employees to know their respective rights in relation to maternity leave. Ignorance could lead to confusion, misunderstandings, discrimination and unfair dismissal claims or employees not receiving their entitlements.
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 2019 a Europe wide study found that reports of discrimination were highest in the UK, where 38% of respondents felt that they had been discriminated against at work.
The Government has recently announced a new proposal, to allow every employee in Great Britain to request flexible working – regardless of time served in employment.
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.
The pandemic has made the hiring process more challenging than ever, with new joiners unable to meet colleagues face-to-face and easily integrate themselves into the business and its culture.
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.
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.
For many employees, the past 18 months may well have been spent working from home. As they begin to return to the office, old issues may be raised once more, or businesses may well find that there are new potential disciplinary matters to deal with.
Now, more than ever, the need for a diverse and inclusive workplace is clear. In fact, a strong diversity and inclusion strategy can help your business attract top talent and drive innovative results.
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.
Research has shown that many remote workers are clocking in more hours and facing a bigger workload then before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Remote workers have developed habits of taking shorter lunch breaks and working through sickness.
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.
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.
In the latest article as part of our ‘return to the office’ series, we discuss the safeguards that businesses should consider when adopting a new hybrid-working policy.
At our most recent HR Club, we had a wide ranging discussion about the key challenges and opportunities associated with returning to the workforce. What quickly became apparent is that there is clearly no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Over the coming weeks, we will be exploring a wide range of topics, to help support businesses as they look to the future of work. In this first article, we discuss the importance of consulting and communicating with employees as a first step in introducing any new working practices.
In this month’s edition of Workplace Law we look at what employers should consider when it comes to staff requests for foreign holidays, post-holiday quarantine and business travel as well as a recent EAT ruling relating to an unfair dismissal claim from an employee on his implementation of new health and safety procedures in his workplace.
We have reached Step 3 in the UK government’s Roadmap back to normality. Non-essential foreign travel is allowed once again. This allows people in England and Scotland to go on holidays abroad to ‘green list’ countries.
In the case of Sinclair v Trackwork Limited, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that an employee was automatically unfairly dismissed under Section 100(1)(a) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) in circumstances where his implementation of new health and safety procedures caused upset and friction within the workforce.
In this month’s edition of Workplace Law we look at two very different recent rulings. The first concerns a claim of sexual discrimination in relation to shared parental leave and the second explores the Court of Appeal’s ruling against Addison Lee in a further boost to gig economy workers.
We also dive into two Covid-19 related topics with a piece that highlights the legal and ethical considerations of vaccine passports and an article that gives an insight into how to deal with employees who do not wish to return to the office after lockdown.
If you have any questions about these – or any other employment law related – topics, then please get in touch.
“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.
In Price v Powys County Council, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) were asked to rule on whether a male employee on Shared Parental Leave (‘SPL’) could compare their pay to a female employee on Adoption Leave for the purposes of a sex discrimination claim.
In the latest victory for gig economy workers following Uber’s loss at the Supreme Court last month, the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the company Addison Lee against an employment tribunal decision which found that drivers were entitled to the minimum wage from the time they logged on as ready to take passengers to the time they logged off.
An employment tribunal was recently called to decide on whether the dismissal of a laser operator was automatically unfair. Rodgers v Leeds Laser Cutting Ltd involved an employee who was dismissed after refusing to return to the workplace until ‘lockdown restrictions eased’ because he was worried for the health and wellbeing of his children who were particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
In this edition of Workplace Law we discuss the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding equal pay for retail employees and distribution employees; updated government guidance for those deemed clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 and changes to Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) regarding health and safety rights.
On the 1 March 2021, the government laid an order before Parliament to amend the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) and level the playing field between the protection offered to “employees” and “workers” in the workplace.
On 17 March 2021, the Government released new guidance for people in the category of clinically extremely vulnerable.
A recent decision by the Supreme Court in Asda Stores Ltd v Brierley now means that retail employees can be compared to distribution employees in equal pay claims made under the Equal Pay Act 1970 and Equality Act 2010 (EA 2010).
In this edition of Workplace Law we discuss the upcoming changes to IR35, the issue of whether or not employers can mandate their staff receive the COVID vaccination and the recent Supreme Court ruling and what that means for the gig economy.
Long talked about changes to off-payroll working rules for private sector organisations, which were originally planned for April 2020, are coming into force from 6 April 2021.
Ben Stepney from our employment team recently spoke to You Money about the legalities of so called ‘no jab no job’ clauses.
A recent BBC article highlighted how the havoc wrecked on the aviation industry has affected a huge number of pilots.
Happy new year to all our readers! We hope 2021 has got off to a good start for you all. In this edition of Workplace Law we cover whistleblowing, indirect discrimination and dementia in the workplace.
In the final part of our series on Dementia in the Workplace consider what to do if you are an employee who has been diagnosed with dementia. We discuss the obligations that may arise on behalf of both you and your employer, and the extra support you will be entitled to receive.
Devon and Cornwall Police recently failed in its appeal against an employment tribunal decision that found the act of transferring a police officer from a Response Team role to an office role after becoming pregnant was discriminatory, on the grounds of both her pregnancy and her sex.
On the 14 January 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) imposed a number of additional requirements on two firms in relation to the whistleblowing systems and controls.
Dementia is often thought of as something which affects people who have retired. But with state pension age rising and default retirement age a thing of the past, people will increasingly experience the first symptoms of dementia while at work.
The end of October brings the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘CJRS’), the unprecedented package of support that at its peak subsidised wages for around 30% of the workforce throughout the UK, and as of September 2020 cost close to £40 billion and counting.
This month has seen the publication of the full details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus (‘CJRB’).
Nick Hobden, head of employment explains the new support schemes announced by the Government
This case concerns an Austrian lawyer, Facebook, the Irish Data Protection Commission and GDPR. But please read on as it may actually be relevant to your organisation.
An employee can be fairly dismissed without any procedure after a breakdown in working relations.
As businesses begin admitting people back to their workplaces, many will be logging customer and visitor information for the purposes of contact tracing.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has said that the NHS Test and Trace system should provide employees who have to take time off from work to self-isolate with full pay. He considers that this would increase people’s engagement with the system.
If redundancies are still needed, you need to consider which roles are at risk of redundancy. As much as possible you should approach this on a ’no names’ basis. It is the role that is redundant, not the individual employee.
The Government has today released further details regarding the Job Retention Bonus.
In March 2020 the government rolled out the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which allowed organisations to place their workforce on ‘furlough’.
During an employee’s employment, you may well pay for them to attend training courses.
On 22 May 2020 the government announced that a 14 day quarantine period will be introduced for most people arriving in the UK from overseas from 8 June 2020.
The easing of lockdown and the winding down of the furlough (CJRS) scheme on 31 October means that we could see many businesses looking to implement redundancies.
It has been prepared to help employers, workers and the self-employed understand how to attend work safely during the various phases of the easing of the lockdown.
As the impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt across the country, the Government announced an extension of its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until 30 June 2020.
Welcome to the March edition of workplace law.
Welcome to the February edition of workplace law.
Welcome to the January edition of Workplace Law.
From April 2020, working parents will be entitled to two weeks’ bereavement leave following the death of a child under 18. The new law is also known as ‘Jack’s Law’ in memory of Jack Herd who died at 23 months and whose mother has since campaigned on the issue of leave for bereaved parents.
A female driver and trainee highway inspector has been awarded £73,600 after the Nottingham Employment Tribunal found that she has been constructively unfairly dismissed after her boss had relocated her as he had found her attractive and wanted to become a ‘potential romantic interest’.
At the beginning of this decade, the UK has agreed a ‘deal’ to leave the European Union (EU) and whilst we are sure that you are all bored of hearing the “B” word, we thought it would be worth a little update about … Breakfast. Just kidding, Brexit.
Welcome to the December edition of Workplace Law.
The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has confirmed in two combined cases known as TSN v Hyvinvointialan that where someone cannot take their annual leave due to sickness, the right to roll over that leave to the next year is limited to the EU minimum annual leave allowance of four weeks (20 working days), unless otherwise contractually agreed or stipulated by domestic law.
For a long time, individuals have provided their independent contractor services to ‘clients’ through an intermediary, such as a personal service company (PSC).
As Christmas party season is nearly over, it seems that lunchtime events and team-building exercises have been favoured over the traditional boozy party.
Ben Stepney explains what discrimination by association is, and outlines what employers need to be aware of, in an article for People Management magazine.
Welcome to the November edition of Workplace Law.
Earlier this month, anger in Japan surfaced following Japanese television network Nippon TV airing a story about employers banning female workers from wearing glasses, instead insisting that they wear contact lenses as an alternative.
Contrasting judgments of two, recent, Spanish cases show that surveillance of employees in the workplace is an evolving and sometimes uncertain topic.
Pardon the bun but there has been a flurry of media coverage regarding McDonald’s decision to dismiss its CEO, Steve Easterbrook after a saucy but allegedly consensual relationship with another employee.
This Halloween, don’t be caught with dusty old skeletons of contracts of employment in your personnel files. Instead, make sure that they are at the heart of your employment relationship and update it regularly so they don’t suck the blood, and your will to live, out of you in the event of a dispute.
On the 10 October 2019, the World Mental Health Day was aimed at suicide prevention. This was in conjunction with World Suicide Prevention Day which takes place on 10 September 2019 every year.
Welcome to the October edition of Workplace Law.
On World Mental Health Day, Thomson Snell & Passmore reflects on what mental health means for our clinical negligence and personal injury clients.
Welcome to the August edition of Workplace Law.
A warm welcome to Dominic Williams who has started as a Trainee with Thomson Snell & Passmore this September in his first (and best) seat, Employment Law. Dominic recently completed his Legal Practice Course and will be working closely with the employment department.
Protected disclosures or “whistleblowing” is a tricky subject and for a protected disclosure claim to be successful, it must first pass a number of tests. One of which is the ‘public interest’ test, i.e., is the information being disclosed in the public’s interest? If it is not, then it will not amount to a protected disclosure.
In Komeng v Creative Support Limited, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) confirmed that the main consideration when calculating an injury to feelings award is the effect of unlawful discrimination on the Claimant, rather than the gravity of the Defendant’s act.
A recent employment tribunal ruled that vegetarianism is not a protected characteristic for the purposed of the Equality Act 2010. Meaning that you cannot unlawfully discriminate against someone for being vegetarian.
Unfortunately, it seems that work is intertwined with stress. Despite stress at work not being a new concept, some of the top commentators are saying that we need a better understanding of our fight or flight response, which triggers stress, to help organisations deal with impacts of stress on their employees and business.