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The Coronavirus Act

Reggie Lloyd
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On 25 March 2020 the Coronavirus Act became law. One of its purposes is to ease the burden of frontline staff, both within the NHS and beyond. It provides for Emergency Volunteer Leave. The Act sets out a new statutory right for workers to take emergency...

Extension of IR35 postponed

Julie Temple
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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...

Covid-19: Summary guidance for employers

Julie Temple
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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 if you can, and only go to work if you must” to “work from home if you can, but .. go...

Increased compensation limits for employment tribunals

Julie Temple
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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

Julie Temple
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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

Julie Temple
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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

Julie Temple
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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...

IR35: Government announces review into off-payroll working

Charlotte Holman
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The government has announced that it is launching a review into the implementation of changes to the off-payroll working rules. In an official statement, it said, ‘the review will determine if any further steps can be taken to ensure the smooth and...

How much for legal advice on a settlement agreement?

Reggie Lloyd
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Often queries are raised when a solicitor is asked to sign a settlement agreement and they give a fee quote of £500 or more to do that work. It is sometimes assumed that the solicitor merely has to “rubber stamp” the agreement by signing...

Garden leave and restrictive covenants

Julie Temple
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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?

Julie Temple
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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?

Julie Temple
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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'

Julie Temple
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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...

Presenteeism - an increasing challenge for employers

Julie Temple
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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...

Automatic unfair dismissal

Reggie Lloyd
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In most cases an employee must have acquired 2 years’ continuous service before they can make a claim for unfair dismissal. This is commonly known as “ordinary” unfair dismissal. However, there are over 25 exceptions to that rule where an...

Women in law: Progression to Partner

Julie Temple
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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...

Employment Tribunal compensation limits increase

Charlotte Holman
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From 6 April 2019, 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 £525 (currently £508) for...

Protection against redundancy for expectant and new parents

Julie Temple
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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...

Regulations coming into force

Julie Temple
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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?

Amy Scholtka
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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...

Parental bereavement: leave and pay

Charlotte Holman
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Parliament has passed a new law this week, dubbed ‘Will’s Bill’ in honour of the campaigning carried out by Colchester MP Will Quince. The Bill creates a statutory right to time off work for employed parents, with pay, where eligibility...

Employees prefer alternative working arrangements

Charlotte Holman
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Recent research published by YouGov has revealed that if workers had a choice they would prefer their working day to start and finish earlier, rather than work what has become the conventional ‘9 to 5’ pattern. This is not surprising in view of...

Mental health and the workplace

Reggie Lloyd
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In October 2017, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Health published a review of mental health and employers. The review was written by Paul Farmer (the chief executive of Mind) and Dennis Stevenson (the former HBOS chair). They...