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Coronavirus restrictions lifted

Posted on: July 22nd, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

Here are the key considerations for employers following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

Working from home – the government is now recommending a gradual return to the workplace over the summer (as opposed to the work from home message). If maintaining flexibility is part of your future, you’ll want to take a look at our latest update series.

Self-isolation – if an employee tests positive or is contacted by NHS Track and Trace as having been in contact with someone who has tested positive, they are still required to self-isolate. If an employee is ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid-19 app, there is no legal obligation to self-isolate, however government guidance is that they should still do so.

Health and safety concerns – whilst there is no legal requirement for an employee ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid-19 app to self-isolate, requiring them to attend work raises the risk of transmission to a colleague or customer. In this event, you’re open to potential claims of negligence and constructive dismissal if an employee resigns on the basis of an unsafe workplace. We recommend insisting an employee does not attend work in these circumstances.

Get in touch if you need further support in managing anything we’ve outlined above.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (22 July 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.

Business as usual – UK data protection

Posted on: July 8th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

No change to UK data protection laws following the European Commission’s (EC) adequacy decision.

After Brexit the UK became a ‘third country’ under EU GDPR meaning transfers of personal data between the EU and UK were only possible if UK data protection laws were deemed acceptable by the EU.

Confirmation – the EU has confirmed the UK has fully incorporated all of the data protection principles, rights and obligations it would expect meaning UK data protection laws do not need to change to meet with any concerns the EU might have had.

Future – whilst the EC’s confirmation of adequacy means it’s business as usual for the time being, it has included a ‘sunset clause’ meaning in four years the EU will reassess UK data protection laws to ensure they’re still adequate. Of course we’ll keep you posted.

If you’d like to support identifying potential legal risk and commercial weaknesses in the way you process personal data, get in touch to discuss how our data protection review can help. 

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (8 July 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.

Legal lightbulb – people law, policy, and practice

Posted on: June 17th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

As part of keeping you in our focus, our ‘legal lightbulb’ update ensures you’re on top of the latest changes in legislation, case law, and people trends.

No legislation to prohibit ‘fire and rehire’ 

The future of ‘fire and rehire’ when dealing with contractual changes was in doubt, but following an Acas ‘fact-finding’ paper, the Government has confirmed that it will not introduce legislation to prevent employers from dismissing and re-engaging employees as a means to change their employment terms and conditions. It is still the most ‘nuclear approach’ and should be tackled with robust advice given the potential risks (unfair dismissal and discrimination claims, to name a few) but it’s good to see that the option remains. Click here if you need our support on changing terms and conditions.

A trip to the pub whilst off sick? 

Although a recent tribunal decision held that dismissal of a sick employee spotted in a pub was unfair, it’s simply another reminder to get your processes right. The dismissal was held to be unfair due to the employer’s flawed investigation. No written accounts were made, no witness statements or medical evidence provided, the disciplinary policy made no reference to ill health, and the investigation officer also led the disciplinary meeting.

John Lewis’ proactive practices

The retailer is set to be the largest in the UK to provide 26 weeks’ equal paid parenthood leave for all employees, irrespective of how they become a parent. Part of a range of new support for employees including two weeks’ pregnancy loss leave, a ‘Flexible First’ policy with vacancies to be advertised with flexible working, and more! Find out how to access our agile working policy and support with flexible working.

Real-life reasons to deal with discrimination

Celebrating Pride Month reminds us of the importance of championing inclusivity and diversity. Over the last 12 weeks of updates, we’ve reflected on the employment laws connected to diversity. If you’d like to revisit anything we’ve covered to help manage an evolving diversity conversation, you can find all our insight here. Get in touch if you’d like to know more about our equality, diversity and inclusivity training.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (17 June 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.

Flexible working – key considerations pt.2

Posted on: June 9th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

There’s loads to think about when considering whether flexible working can work for your business. 

We shared a ‘starter for 10’ in our last update, and here’s the second part of our ‘key considerations’:

  1. Do you need to carry out a risk assessment at the individual’s chosen place of work?
  2. Do you need to alter employment contracts to support the new arrangements?
  3. Do you need to introduce a policy to support the new way of working? Find out how to access ours.
  4. What will you do if the new flexibility works for some and not all, or if an employee’s performance declines?
  5. How will it impact your onboarding processes for new starters and how will they access effective support?
  6. How are you going to ensure that your information remains confidential?
  7. Do you need to update your existing insurance policies?

In our following updates, we’ll help you tackle these key considerations with practical solutions, and cover the legal framework you’ll need to follow if employees make requests for greater flexibility. We can also provide training for your managers on how to spot and deal with any requests for flexible working – find out more

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (10 June 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.

Flexible working – key considerations

Posted on: June 1st, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

There’s loads to think about when considering whether flexible working can work for your business (too much for just one update!).

Here’s the first part of our ‘key considerations’:

  1. Are you going to wait for individuals to ask or are you going to create an opportunity for all?
  2. Are you going to use a trial period or introduce flexible working on a permanent basis?
  3. Will it work for everyone or will some feel they have been treated unfairly if their role doesn’t lend itself to flexible working?
  4. Do your systems and technology support flexible working or do you need to invest?
  5. How is everyone going to stay connected if they’re not meeting as much?
  6. How are you going to measure the impact that new flexibility might have on business and individual performance?

We have more for you to think about in our next update. Later in this series, we’ll help you tackle these key considerations with practical solutions.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (1 June 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.