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Employment and BLHR team

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The Employment and BLHR team listens to the needs and objectives of our clients, whether they are individuals seeking advice about their employment or a potential claim or a business needing guidance on how to resolve a situation with an employee. Our advice is commercial and pragmatic whilst taking into account the legalities. 

All members of the team are happy to discuss the background of your situation over the telephone for an initial 15 minutes, at no cost, to see if the matter is something we can assist with and if future costs are worthwhile for you.

Education Team

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Education law can be complex and there are many different reasons why you may need legal advice. Our Education team includes individuals who specialise in certain sectors, so you are guaranteed a solicitor who has the expertise in the area that you require. The team is made up of specialists working within the relevant principle disciplines – commercial and corporate finance, commercial real estate, employment and HR, and dispute resolution. We regularly work for universities, colleges, and schools, including Multi Academy Trusts.

Julie Temple
    • Julie Temple

    • Partner, Head of BLHR and Employment Team
    • View profile
 

What employers should know about the 'ping'demic

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Employees contacted by Test and Trace (other than via the NHS App) must self-isolate and they will commit an offence and risk a fine if they do not. The fine can be £1,000 and, for repeat offenders, £10,000. Employers will also commit an...

Covid-19 workplace guidance for Employers

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Below is a summary of the current restrictions and guidance for employees in the workplace from an employer perspective. Links are included in each section to detailed government (and other) guidance. Please note different guidance and legislation may apply...

Covid-19 workplace guidance for Employees

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Below is a summary of the current restrictions and guidance in place for employees in the workplace. In each section we include links to the late guidance. Updated 22 March 2021 The position may differ between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern...

Debenhams - what does this mean for the employees?

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With Boohoo purchasing some of the assets of department store Debenhams, it is believed that its stores will not reopen, except to sell off stock. So, what does this mean for Debenhams’ employees? In many cases, if business A buys the shares of...

Lockdown 3 - Employment workplace update

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What you need to know regarding lockdown 3.0 and the workplace: The guidance says employees 'can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable … to do your job from home’. The legislation is more restrictive and says...

Lockdown 3 announced - What now for the workplace?

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I did not make my children listen this time round to the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4 January 2021, that we yet again enter national lockdown. Education will be by remote learning until mid-February and the extremely clinically vulnerable must...

Employees unable to work due to Childcare?

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As many now return to work following the festive break, many parents face difficulties with childcare with some schools remaining closed and staggered returns. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been in place since March 2020 and can be used by...

Extension of furlough - a quick overview

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This is a summary of the key points to think about at this stage , that relate to t he extension of furlough in addition to the original policy paper and in particular providing answers to common questions and any changes from the furlough guidance. ...

Flexible furlough - one thing you might have missed

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I am sure many, business and employees alike, are looking forward to the flexibility under the coronavirus job retention scheme from 1 July 2020 and the possibilities it brings. However, there is one important restriction that might have been overlooked and...

How furlough is changing from 1 July 2020

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We've known some of the details since the changes were announced in May and guidance released earlier this month. Further guidance was released on 12 June 2020. What follows is a summary of how furlough will operate from 1 July 2020 and collated...

My experience of volunteers' week - #HRTogether

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On 1 June, around 5pm, I finished presenting an online event for the Essex and Ipswich branch of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development rounding up Covid-19 legal issues for HR professionals and managers. I checked my phone and accepted...

Coronavirus: Family leave and furlough

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Since the announcement that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June, and the last day to place ‘new’ employees on furlough is 10 June 2020, confusion has come to the fore about those on family leave. We...

Furlough and flexible furlough - limitations and corrections

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From 1 July onwards, the maximum number of employees that can be claimed for in any period cannot be higher than the maximum number that have been claimed for in a previous period. For example, if the highest single claim for periods up to and including 30...

Important changes to furlough and self-employed support scheme

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On 29 May 2020, as part of the government daily briefing, the Chancellor announced the awaited details of how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) (or furlough scheme) will change come 1 August 2020. The headlines are that: ...

IR35 and off-payroll working rules update

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It seems like a lifetime ago we were discussing and preparing for the implementation of changes to IR35 and off-payroll working rules from 6 April 2020. On 17 March 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the government took the welcome step to delay the...

Employment guidance from 13 May 2020

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Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 10 May 2020, guidance was issued late on 11 May 2020: Our plan to rebuild - The UK government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy New guidance launched to help Brits safely back to work ...

The challenge for business and HR continues

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It was unusual for me to listen to the Prime Minister’s address on 10 May 2020 as it happened. I have made the deliberate and conscious decision to stay away from as much of the news around Covid-19 as possible. The conjecture and speculation are...

Attending work meetings during furlough

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Whilst on furlough, employees cannot work for or on behalf of their employer. Guidance says work is any work that: makes money for the employer or any organisation linked or associated with the employer ...

Disciplinary, grievance and consultation meetings during furlough

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HMRC guidance issued on 30 April 2020 relating to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (or CJRS, or the furlough scheme) clarified that employees on furlough (acting as representatives or companions) can carry out their duties and activities as a companion...

Employment after Covid-19: what will this look like?

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For most, but not all, the ‘crisis’ stage of the Covid-19 pandemic is over and both business and employees are starting to reflect on what has happened and, more importantly, focus on what is to come. When and how the...

Covid-19: Summary guidance for employees

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Click here for the latest workplace guidance for employees 14 May 20 update The Prime Minister announced a change in the position on working on 10 May 2020. It represents a shift from “you should work from home if you...

Covid-19: Summary guidance for employers

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Click here for the latest workplace guidance for employers 14 May update The Prime Minister announced a change in the position on working on 10 May 2020. It represents a shift from “you should work from home...

Extension of IR35 postponed

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The Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced on 17 March 2020 that the extension of the off-payroll working rules and IR35 will be postponed to 6 April 2021 . Broadly, IR35 was introduced to ensure that those who worked like employees paid broadly the...

Increased compensation limits for employment tribunals

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From 6 April 2020, new increased compensation limits for employment tribunals will come into force. Under the provisions of the Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2019, the increases include a revised figure of £538 (currently £525) for...

Reforms to the off-payroll working rules

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Government, on 27 February 2020, confirmed the reforms to the off-payroll working rules will be introduced from 6 April 2020. Nothing new there then. It has already been announced that the changes will apply only to services provided on or after 6 April...

Coronavirus guidance for employers

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The Prime Minister has said coronavirus could spread 'significantly' and, potentially, a fifth of the workforce could be off sick at its peak. I understand the situation is of growing concern to individuals and employers alike. At work, both...

Parental leave decision

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Last year, in the case of Chief Constable of Leicestershire v Hextall, the Court of Appeal decided that it was not discriminatory to pay men on shared parental leave less than a woman received whilst on maternity leave. Hextall asked for permission to...

Garden leave and restrictive covenants

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Just over a year ago, I worked my last day at a firm I had worked at for 13 years. I had given notice and, in accordance with my contract, I was put on garden leave. I wasn’t able to say goodbye to clients how I wanted. I wasn’t able to hand...

Relationships in the workplace - what are your rights?

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According to news reports, McDonalds has fired its chief executive for having a relationship with an employee. This relationship was in breach of its policy on conflict of interest. The reports don’t give any details about the other employee, but they...

Are you liable for your employees out of hours?

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A recent case concluded that a business was not liable for a private social media post made by an employee out of hours and using their own equipment. We discussed the implications of this case at recent HR Forums and the reaction was, it’s fair to...

Banning out-of-hours email 'could harm employee wellbeing'

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The University of Sussex has recently reported that banning out-of-hours email could actually be more harmful to some employees. They concluded, as I suspect most will have anticipated, that preventing access to work emails out of hours may help some but...

Supporting employees in the LGBT community

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In recent times, gender pay, sexual harassment and especially mental health in the workplace have been under the spotlight for good reason and with positive effect. However, there is always more to be done and always other things which are just outside or...

Presenteeism - an increasing challenge for employers

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Two recent reports, one by Vitality in January 2019 and one by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in April 2019, have highlighted increases in so-called “presenteeism”. Presenteeism refers to employees attending...

Women in law: Progression to Partner

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Julie Temple , Partner and Head of BLHR and Employment team at Birkett Long, tells us about her career in law, what has changed, and what needs to continue. When did you start your career in law? My career in law began when I started at Birkett Long...

Annual increases to family leave and sick pay

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The following payment increases are expected to take effect from: 6 April 2019: statutory sick pay from £92.05 to £94.25 per week. 7 April 2019; statutory maternity pay, paternity pay, shared...

Protection against redundancy for expectant and new parents

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On 25 January 2019, the government launched a consultation on plans to tackle pregnancy and maternity discrimination. This is part of a series of measures being considered following the so-called Taylor Review. The consultation proposes to require...

Cyclist failed to prove she was an employee or worker

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There has been an increasing number of high-profile cases in recent years considering whether individuals are employees, workers or self-employed. Most have gone in favour of the individual, lending some weight to the idea (which has increasing support in my...

Regulations coming into force

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The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 come into force on 6 April 2020. The Regulations implement some changes recommended in the ‘Good Work Plan’ published on 17 December 2018. So...

How hot is too hot for UK workers?

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“Unions say action needed to protect UK workers in heatwave’’ The Trade Union Congress is pushing for a legal maximum temperature in the workplace, with a high of 30 degrees for indoor work environments and 27 degrees for more...