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Whistleblowing webinar questions, Part 2 – interim relief (UK)

In our webinar last week we touched on the existence of a largely unique remedy for whistleblowing dismissals, the concept of interim relief, more recently and lucidly known as a contract continuation order (“CCO”).  Time did not permit a full rehearsal of the ins and outs of this potentially devastating employee tool, so here is … Continue Reading

Proposed right to disconnect lacks joined-up thinking (UK)

BBC News Online reported last week a call by trade union Prospect for the Government to legislate to “ban out of hours emails from bosses” or, beneath the headline, to “ban bosses from routinely emailing or calling outside set working hours“.  This looks like the proposed introduction into English law of the “right to disconnect” … Continue Reading

Acas Issues Short Advice on Long Covid (UK)

Clearly a quiet week over at Acas Towers, judging by all the detailed advice and reasoned analysis which doesn’t feature in its new two-page guidance note on long Covid (also referred to in the guidance as “long-tail Covid”, which is the same but with more feathers). The main thrust of the guidance is notionally to … Continue Reading

New Acas guidance on the return to the workplace – the importance of talking back to your workers (UK)

In line with the impending movement back to the physical workplace comes some updated Acas guidance around consultation with your workforce about preventing the Coronavirus in the process. The line between communication and consultation in the guidance is not always clearly marked, but that should not be an issue in view of Acas’s injunction that … Continue Reading

“Fair dismissal for not wearing face-mask” headlines hide full story (UK)

It’s not natural for our freedoms and permissions to be limited in the way they have been since last March, so whatever one’s own views, it is hardly surprising that some have found those restrictions hard to swallow and have railed against COVID-19 related rules, state imposed or otherwise. The requirement to wear masks in … Continue Reading

Future of the Workplace webinar 18 March – follow-up questions answered, Part 3 (UK)

Here are answers to two more of the questions which came up at our webinar last week, this time dealing with employee resistance to workplace Covid testing and the wisdom or otherwise of agreeing to post-lockdown WFH without formal changes to terms of employment. If an employee refuses to be tested at work, how should … Continue Reading

Future of the Workplace webinar 18 March – follow-up questions answered, Part 2 (UK)

Here are a couple more answers to questions coming up at our webinar last week: Do we still need to comply with collective consultation where we are not dismissing, only making contractual changes? Our policy currently removes COVID-related absences from our Bradford factor sickness calculations – should we do the same for adverse reactions to … Continue Reading

Future of the Workplace webinar 18 March – follow-up questions answered, Part 1 (UK)

Over 700 sign-ups for our Future of the Workplace webinar yesterday show much continuing uncertainty on the part of employers as to just what happens next in practical HR terms as the lock-down staggers to a scheduled end in June.  As usual lots of questions were received through the chat facility, so we have combined … Continue Reading

Government review of restrictive covenants resurfaces – better grammar, different reasons, same problems (UK)

Back in 2016 the Government published a Call for Evidence to better understand, it said, how non-compete clauses in employment contracts are used and why, and to assess the benefits and disadvantages associated with them.  The Call was a mess in every sense, legally, practically and even grammatically, as we said here nowhere in the whole … Continue Reading

Employers needled by vaccine refusals, Part 3 – injecting some reality (UK)

In the earlier parts of this blog series (part 1 & part 2) we saw that for the most part, asking your employees to take the covid-19 vaccination will be a reasonable management request and that their refusal to do so will usually be deemed unreasonable at law. Against that background, how should the employer … Continue Reading

Employers needled by vaccine refusals, Part 1 – your rights and obligations (UK)

So a government-approved vaccination becomes available and you really want your employees to take it.  Can you just insist, or does the development of the vaccine turn out to have been the easy bit? Here and in further posts to follow shortly are some headline thoughts on the point. Please note that these will be … Continue Reading

Second thoughts for employers facing new pandemic measures (UK)

Boris’ press conference on Saturday night addressed one key question and left another unanswered. In his late start, overturning of previous statements and an expression more hunted than Ronnie Biggs, the Prime Minister showed clearly that the pandemic holds the reins of power at present, not the Government.  On the other hand, after six months … Continue Reading

The joy of six – but cold comfort for UK employers in latest pandemic measures

So what price now,  your long-planned initiative for returning your workforce to the office?  How much of your RTO plan is still standing among the smoking wreckage of the Government’s message only two months ago that employees should “start to go back to work now” if they can?  What does Michael Gove mean by the … Continue Reading

New “week’s pay” regulations get an A for aspiration, E for execution (UK)

Meet E.  He is the poor soul at the heart of this week’s new statutory instrument concerning the rights of employees who are dismissed on or after furlough. E is anxious that if he is dismissed while on furlough or soon after he comes off it, then his reduced earnings over that period will prejudice … Continue Reading

Post-lockdown working, Part 5 – doing your homework (UK)

The logical extension from the discovery that all or most or your staff can work from home without anything catastrophic happening is to ask yourself whether you actually need an office in the first place.  Obviously it has potential advantages in terms of staff cohesion and corporate identity, but decisions are being made across the … Continue Reading

UK Chancellor issues further Treasury Direction on CJRS – mire deepens

On Friday last week the Chancellor issued the third and probably final Treasury Direction in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). This is “the law” that will govern the flexible furlough arrangements from 1 July. As with the two previous Treasury Directions, this one is horribly complicated to navigate – to the point … Continue Reading

And now for something completely different – EU abuse principles sink self-serving contract variation

Quite a fun little case on TUPE this week, if you like that sort of thing (and on the upside, even if you don’t, at least it has nothing to do with COVID-19). Regulation 4(4) of TUPE states that TUPE-related changes to terms of employment are void in most circumstances.  This has long been read … Continue Reading

Dealing with health and safety fears of returning to the workplace (UK)

So now that the slow movement back to workplaces has started, the next hot question will be this: “If I don’t want to go back in because I fear infection if I do, can my employer make me?” The short and absolutely definitively answer to this is no.  And yes. It cannot compel you to … Continue Reading

New Acas guidance on holding disciplinary and grievance meetings without meetings (UK)

Neatly timed to coincide with the beginning of the end of lockdown, ACAS has this week has issued some new thoughts on the conduct of disciplinary and grievance proceedings during the pandemic.  Can or should you really run these things without the physical meetings referred to in generations of prior ACAS guidance? In these respects, … Continue Reading

Smoke lifts temporarily over Belgium’s occult period (and other questions about termination)

In a previous blog, in a world before the coronavirus hit Europe, we noted the social elections that Belgian employers have to organise in 2020 [here] for the appointment of employee representatives to the Works Council and Health & Safety Committee. Being a representative of that sort (and also being a candidate for that role) … Continue Reading
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