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Proposed new EU regulatory regime for Artificial Intelligence – more relevant to HR than you might think (UK)

For the last year or so the EU Commission has been working on the world’s first serious attempt to create a regulatory framework around the use of AI, the Artificial Intelligence Act.  The Proposal itself runs to over 100 pages of dense type and no pictures, so is a fairly off-putting read at first look.  … Continue Reading

New FCA Policy Statement on Diversity and Inclusion on boards and executive management (UK)

At the end of last year the Financial Conduct Authority consulted on increasing diversity and inclusion on company boards and executive management in the financial services sector, and on the back of the responses received, has yesterday published its “Policy Statement” which sets out the changes it intends. By way of quick summary (more detail … Continue Reading

Better late than never, just about – UK government issues workplace guidance on living with covid

So with Covid 19 now officially behind us for all purposes (except actual reality, obviously), we have now been graced by the Government’s new “Living with Covid” guidance.  This was due to come into force on 1 April and was released fashionably late in the afternoon on, well, 1st April.  You could say with some … Continue Reading

New code of practice on employers’ failure to consult – policy or politics? (UK)

An interesting development on the old employment relations front this week with the announcement of a new statutory code of practice concerning, well, that strictly remains to be seen.  Scarcely able to stand up under the weight of politically-charged invective and hyperbole, the government’s statement refers to “clamping down” on “unscrupulous employers” which fail to … Continue Reading

D&I reporting and quotas — practical concerns for employers (UK)

Here are two related questions from our What’s Next webinar of a fortnight ago, both arising out of government consultations in connection with possible further diversity reporting obligations. Since the webinar the government has issued a response to the consultation around ethnicity pay reporting which implies strongly that there won’t be any legislation on that … Continue Reading

Looking into workplace investigations, Part 5 – seeking truth, justice or resolution? (UK)

Decades of presenting employment law training have taught me that if you ask seasoned HR audiences what they think employees usually want from a grievance, they will generally lie.  “Justice“, someone will mutter uncomfortably, or “for the truth to come out”, “a better relationship with their manager” or “to correct a wrong“, all straining every … Continue Reading

Looking into workplace investigations, Part 1 – what are you talking about? (UK)

Today we start a new series of posts tackling the vexed area of workplace investigations.  We will look at the background law, of which there is very little, and at best practice guidance, of which there is more than can possibly all be useful.  We will offer some examples of investigations done badly and consider … Continue Reading

COVID-19: what next for UK employers, Part 4

In deciding whether to allow an employee’s request to continue a full or partial remote working schedule, what account should be taken of the reasons for that request? In our ‘What next’ webinar last week, I indicated that in most cases the safest answer to this question is “none”, and that the employee’s reasons for … 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

If you have tiers, prepare to shed them now – thoughts for UK employers under lockdown v.3

So here we are all again and, says the Government’s latest guidance, able to leave home to work only where it is “unreasonable for you to do your job from home“.  This is the umpteenth permutation of the same underlying message about working from home if you can, and was almost certainly meant to say … 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

Belgium – Your employees can’t work from home? Time for a certificate!

We were – as ever – maybe a little late to the party, but as of Monday 2 November, Belgium is in new lockdown, at least until 13 December. Non-essential shops are closed and so-called “professions with direct contact” (beauticians, barbers) are prohibited from working.  Working from home is mandatory, unless this is “impossible due … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Guidance Clarifying When Opioid Users are Protected From Disability Discrimination Under the ADA (US)

Opioid abuse is widespread in America and the opioid epidemic impacts people from all walks of life, which presents unique challenges for employers who want to limit the potentially adverse effects opioid use may have on their employees and their workplaces. Given the severity of the crisis, it is tempting for employers to want to … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Hazard Pay for COVID-19 Frontline Workers (US)

On July 16, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a hazard pay grant program to help employers provide additional pay for employees engaged in life-sustaining occupations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This hazard pay is funded by $50 million from the CARES Act and is intended to recognize and reward frontline workers and to help eligible … Continue Reading

Black Lives Matter, Racial Unrest and Corporate Culture – How Do Employers Respond? (US)

As the daily news continues to show protests and calls for justice in response to the death of George Floyd and others at the hands of police officers, there is, unsurprisingly, a desire from employees to hear from their employers regarding the ongoing violence and racial unrest in our communities and across the country. Many … 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

DOL Update: COVID-19-Related Guidance and New Opinion Letters (US)

During the week of June 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) issued three Field Assistance Bulletins, each providing guidance to WHD field staff regarding three unique compliance issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, on June 25, 2020, the DOL released five fact-specific opinion letters discussing various … Continue Reading

Walking The Tightrope: Dealing With Employees’ Different Viewpoints On COVID-19, Racial Justice, and Partisan Politics (US)

We’re living through a period of time in the US unlike any we have previously experienced,  simultaneously grappling with a deadly public health emergency, mass protests – some peaceful, some not – seeking racial justice and police reform, and an increasingly bitter, partisan political landscape that likely only will intensify as we get closer to … Continue Reading
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