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Archive

February, 2021

Brexit series #7 – employees refused settled status

Posted on: February 25th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

By 30 June 2021 employees who are EU citizens need to apply under the settled status scheme in order to ensure that they can continue to live and work in the UK beyond that date.

If their application is turned down, what are your options?

Appeal/review – ensure the employee immediately lodges an application to secure a review of the decision or an appeal. They should be allowed to continue working for you pending a final decision, although government guidance on this point hasn’t yet been published so we’ll update you when we have clarification.

Apply for a visa – if you have a sponsor licence and the role they’re doing qualifies under the new immigration rules the employee can apply for a visa. You’ll need to ensure that they have the right to continue to work for you in the meantime or take steps to terminate their employment if not. Take advice before committing to this route.

Termination of employment –  there are a number of different options available to effect the termination of employment of an individual who no longer has the right to work in the UK. It may be possible to end their employment without notice and without following a ‘fair process’, but advice must be taken before embarking on those discussions.

Get in touch if you’d like more information about how our annual, fixed fee Intelligent Employment service can support with the employment law implications of Brexit.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (25 February 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

New salary, new restrictions?

Posted on: February 23rd, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

It’s a good time of year to consider whether you have the right post-termination restrictions in place to protect your business.

Here’s what you need to think through…

  1. What are your key assets? Think carefully about what you want to protect, from customers, employees, suppliers, and tender information – it’s all capable of protection.
  2. Do you really need to stop employees from working with competitors when they leave? Difficult to enforce and off-putting to new starters, whilst well drafted non-compete provisions are potentially enforceable, they should be entered with caution and following advice.
  3. How long do ex-employees remain a threat to your business? Once their influence has disappeared you’ll not be able to limit their actions and your business becomes ‘fair game’. Ensure that the duration of the restrictions lasts only as long as the assets you’re trying to protect otherwise they will be unenforceable.
  4. What are you going to offer in return? It’s not possible to introduce new restrictions for existing employees unless you offer ‘consideration’ – so what form does that take? Extra holidays, salary increase, new role etc, whatever the case, it should be clear to the employee that the additional benefit is offered only in return for their acceptance of the new restrictions.

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss how our extensive drafting expertise can support you to introduce robust and enforceable post-termination restrictions into your contracts.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (23 February 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Balancing support for mental fitness with a drive for performance

Posted on: February 11th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

The last 12 months have been like no other. Whether it’s juggling home-schooling, concerns about safety, or even worrying about job security – mental fitness has recently taken a blow.

Here are some practical tips to maintain an environment that supports mental fitness meaning you can confidently continue to drive performance:

Care personally – communication is key. Understanding how individuals are doing, personal challenges at home or at work, and areas you can support means you may be able to help them maintain their mental resilience. Access our informal mental fitness agenda (here) to help structure your conversation.

Create flexibility – for those team members struggling with mental fitness, changes to their working hours, taking leave, job-sharing or buddying up may help.

Ask the experts – asking a medical expert for a better understanding of a mental health condition should provide clarity and a better opportunity to communicate proactively and support meaningfully.

Mental health toolkit

Promoting employee well-being and mental fitness creates a more engaged workforce, reduces sickness absence, and drives performance. We’ve created a user-friendly toolkit providing you and your managers the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to support your team’s mental health needs within the wider employment law context. If you’d like to find out more about what’s included, click here.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (18 February 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Reluctant returners?

Posted on: February 11th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

With the government soon to announce whether we can begin to take steps to return to something that resembles ‘normal’, you’ll be thinking about planning for a return.

Here are a few things to consider…

Increased contact – hopefully you’ll have been in regular contact with your team, but now more than ever you’ll want to ensure employees feel engaged. Update on developments in the business will bring them up to speed and organising virtual team events are a fun and easy way to reintegrate.

Working practices – it’s likely things will look completely different on employees’ return. Share any alterations to working practices, procedural changes, or anything that has changed the way the employee will need to carry out their role so they hit the ground running.

Finding flexibility – returning employees will have to consider any caring, childcare, or travel arrangements before they return. Being open to flexible arrangements (altered start / finish times for example) will help to smooth the transition back into the business.

Listen to concerns – most will be happy to return, some might need extra reassurance. Explain clearly the steps you’ve taken to make the workplace safe and secure and make sure they have a copy of your safe return to work and / or coronavirus policy with the details (click here for a copy of ours).

Remember the rules – absent employees might want to be helpful by picking up work, but remind them that carrying out any work whilst still furloughed could jeopardise your ability to claim reimbursement under the Job Retention Scheme.

Get in touch if you need support in making your plans or managing a return to the workplace. 

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (17 February 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Getting ready for a return – flexible contracts

Posted on: February 11th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

If you’re planning to continue the trend away from traditional and carry on with the contemporary, don’t forget to check that your employment contracts will keep pace.

Place of work – clearly setting out the place of work remains important – the consequence of failing to do so means you may find yourself with expenses claims for travel to the office from home.

Mobility – setting out clearly the terms of any flexibility and the circumstances when it might be withdrawn should avoid dispute if the new approach doesn’t work well.

Variation – we’ve all experienced that it’s impossible to predict what the future holds – giving yourself a general right to amend terms will provide greater flexibility to react to any future uncertainty.

Get in touch if you’d like us to review your current contracts or support you with making changes moving forward.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (16 February 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.