Archives

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

Bogged down in pointless appeals? – The Law speaks (UK)

Periodically a case comes along to remind us that underneath all good dismissal practice, Acas guidance and the rest is The Law, and that The Law is sometimes less rigid in its requirements of a fair dismissal than all that guidance might suggest. Moore -v- Phoenix Product Development Limited is today’s such case, an everyday … Continue Reading

Redundancy or furlough? – something for employers to think about

With the end of the Coronvirus Job Retention Scheme now only half a dozen weeks away we are seeing the first reported Employment Tribunal decisions around the interplay of the CJRS and redundancy dismissals.  This brings us the beginnings of an answer to the challenge many employers will have faced since the Scheme was introduced … Continue Reading

Dancing to the EU’s tune – why its Whistleblowing Directive may still affect you (UK)

The 27 remaining EU member states have until 17 December this year in which to introduce domestic legislation implementing the Whistleblowing Directive from 2019.  With scarcely four months to go, how are things going? Very slowly in most cases, it seems.  No doubt Covid has taken parliamentary time and resource away from this issue across the … Continue Reading

Returning to the workplace – Part 4: Now you see me, now you don’t … Monitoring teleworkers’ productivity (Belgium)

The pandemic has given an enormous boost to working from home, in particular (to state the obvious) when it was mandatory. Where roles permitted it, even those employers and employees most vigorously opposed to it simply had no choice but to accept it. When quizzed about the reasons why they oppose WFH, most employers’ main … Continue Reading

Unconvincing lack of detail in UK government’s response to harassment consultation

Sexual harassment is absolutely no laughing matter, but it is difficult to suppress a tired smile when reading the government’s Response to its 2019 consultation on harassment in the workplace.  This is very heavy on prospective voter-appeal but rather lighter (weightless, basically) on the practicalities. We shall impose a proactive duty on employers to prevent … Continue Reading

Returning to the workplace – Part 3: Off to town for a home office? (Belgium)

I will start this third part of our Working from Home series with a confession: I worked the first couple of weeks of lockdown from a small table dragged in from our balcony. Not because I don’t have a fully equipped and ergonomically approved home office, because I do. I just didn’t like the vibe … Continue Reading

Check, please – the bill for the CJRS arrives (UK)

Lovely people, the HMRC – completely above criticism in all respects, I have always thought. Just wanted to put that out there in a way obviously wholly unrelated to this week’s news that the Revenue has launched over 12,800 “probes” into misuses of Coronavirus support schemes. The majority of these relate to the CJRS furlough … Continue Reading

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

“You can go to the pub if off sick from work, says Tribunal” and other wild over-simplifications (UK)

This is of course not what the Newcastle Employment Tribunal said, nor is “Unless a company has specifically forbidden employees from socialising while ill they are free to do what they like” or “Going to the pub while off sick is not a sackable offence”.  However, the reality would not illuminate the pages of yesterday’s … 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
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