Priority visa services resume after 5 month suspension (UK)


In March this year, we wrote about the abrupt suspension of UKVI priority services for new applications made from outside the UK here. Today, after a full 5 months, UKVI has reinstated “priority services” for new work visa applications.

The suspension was UKVI’s response to the large influx of applications under the Ukraine Family Scheme. Those applications were to be prioritised for obvious reasons and given resource constraints, UKVI could no longer offer its previous priority services alongside that.

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Employment Law in the Metaverse (US)

The metaverse is poised to reshape the way we live and work. Employment law in real life is vexing enough, with US employers required to navigate the complex federal, state and local laws and regulations that impact the employment relationship. Now some employers and businesses are making the leap into the virtual world, where employment law takes an even more challenging turn. The metaverse has opened the door to new risks employers must anticipate and carefully consider, and prudent employers entering the metaverse will balance the tremendous possibilities these platforms present and the legal uncertainties they create. But what exactly is the metaverse, and how will it impact employers in the near and long term? In a recent article written for our Family Office newsletter, we explore the metaverse as it relates to employment law and identify just some of the myriad questions virtual employers will need to consider as they explore this new frontier.

Read our article at this link.

Keeping it real – the quest for reason in whistleblowing cases (UK)

In earlier posts on this blog you will find a handful of cases which consider the distinction between the fact of a protected whistle-blowing disclosure and the manner of it.  Accepted wisdom, thanks in part to the unimprovable words of then Mr Justice Underhill in Martin -v-Devonshires Solicitors here is that an employer can in principle respond negatively to the manner as distinct from the fact, but only where the manner goes well beyond the ordinary unreasonableness or aggression or inaccuracies implicit in the making of employee disclosures. 

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WEBINAR August 12: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization: What Are the Complexities to Navigate for Your Organization and the Future of Abortion Protections in the US?

Register for this event

The Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision reversing long-standing precedent protecting abortion rights has created complexities for employers and other organizations across the US. As we continue to watch the impact of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision unfold, please join our team of lawyers in a conversation highlighting where we are now and what we may see in the future relating to abortion access in the US. We will cover issues of the case from the following perspectives:

  • Labor and employment
  • Tax and benefits
  • Insurance
  • Aiding and abetting statutes
  • Healthcare
  • Public policy

Register for this event | Friday, August 12, 2022 | 1 p.m. EDT

Belgium’s new measures on employee illness – headaches for employers?

If I were to rank the employment law questions I receive by popularity, questions around long-term absence, absenteeism and generally how to deal with work incapacity would be right up there, a definite podium finish. The tension between the legitimate frustrations of employers and the no-fault nature of the employees’ absence seems eternal. To give the topic even more impetus, the Belgian government has now introduced a number of measures which aim to protect employees, reduce the cost of healthcare and combat workplace burn-out. All very worthy ambitions but the measures chosen will likely also cause significant headaches for employers.

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MPs use Private Members’ Bills to advance government’s employment agenda (UK)    

Parliament’s Private Members’ Bills ballot gives backbench MPs the opportunity to propose new legislation or changes to existing laws on a topic of their choice. We wouldn’t normally report on Private Members’ Bills as very few of them ever become actual law and some are downright silly – if you can still find it, take a look at the Dignity at Work Bill, a brilliant Monty Python spoof of a real employment proposal aimed at addressing workplace upset, almost however trivial, by a vast and rigid mechanical process with more steps for the employer to fall down than the Eiffel Tower. However, on 15 July, two employment-focussed Bills were given airtime in Parliament under that process and as both reflect previous “commitments” made by the government, they may stand a greater chance of making it over the finish line to the statute books.

The Bills in question are the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill and the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill. Sound familiar?

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UK government publishes its response to workplace menopause consultation – but is it right?

Letters spelling Menopause

It certainly wasn’t the main talking point in Westminster in the middle of the country’s own meteorological hot flush earlier this month but on 19 July the government published its Response to Menopause and the workplace: how to enable fulfilling working lives, an independent report commissioned by the then Minister for Employment and published in November 2021.

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UK Government allows agency staff to cover for striking workers

Despite what seems to be almost universal opposition to its proposals, the government has changed the law to allow employment businesses to supply temporary workers to cover for striking workers.

Regulation 7 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 prohibits employment businesses from supplying temporary workers to cover (i) the duties normally performed by an employee who is taking part in a strike or other industrial action; or (ii) the work of an employee who is covering the duties of an employee taking part in a strike or other industrial action. The unimaginatively-titled Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 21 July and, as heralded in our previous alert, revoke that Regulation with immediate effect.

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Daily Rate Workers and Overtime Compensation: Implications of the Supreme Court’s Upcoming Decision in Helix v. Hewitt (US)

Squire Patton Boggs Summer Associate Wade Erwin discusses the issues in and implications of an FLSA case set to heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in October.

In the upcoming 2022-2023 term, the United States Supreme Court is set to decide in Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc., et al. v. Hewitt (No. 21-984) whether a daily rate supervisor who earned in excess of $200,000 annually is entitled to overtime compensation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Employers that pay their employees daily rates – particularly those in the oil and gas industry – should be on the lookout, and preparing, for the Court’s decision, as it threatens to alter the employment compensation landscape substantially and may force some employers to reshape their compensation schemes entirely. Oral argument in this case is presently scheduled for October 12, 2022.

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Looking into workplace investigations, Part 14 – closing submissions

Workplace Investigation

Since most workplace investigations involve something contested, most investigation reports will disappoint one party or the other.  Indeed, since very few workplace disputes are exclusively the responsibility of one party alone, it is entirely possible if you put your mind to it that at one level or another your report will be a disappointment to everyone involved.  [That is no bad thing. A report which sides wholly with one party or the other is far less credible than the one which finds a degree of culpability (not necessarily serious or disciplinary-actionable) all round].

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