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Keeping up to date

We take seriously our responsibility to keep you up to date so that you can use changes in employment law to commercial advantage. By understanding and interpreting the latest case law and legislation we can deliver updates to you that are concise and usable. With imagination, we are able to ensure that developing law can be used to allow you to achieve commercial solutions, cost effectively and expediently.

Legal lightbulb – people law, policy, and practice

Posted on: November 24th, 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.

Furlough overpayments and HMRC enforcement 

If you’ve used the furlough scheme you have until 31 January 2022 to report and repay any overclaimed grants to avoid potential penalties. Over-claiming could arise from miscalculating an employee’s usual pay or hours, or a change in circumstances meaning you no longer needed the grant to cover employees wages (to name a few).

HMRC is ramping up efforts to claw back grants that employers were not entitled to receive and is reminding everyone to check previous claims for errors. HMRC is not targeting those who’ve made honest mistakes, but does have the power to investigate those who fail to make the necessary repayments (whether honest mistakes or not).

Flexible working consultation closing soon 

You’ve got until 01 December 2021 to submit your views on the government’s consultation on giving employees the right to request flexible working from day one of their employment. You can submit your views here. The proposals include:

  1. An obligation to consider requests from day one of employment (not the current 26-week requirement)
  2. A reduction on the current three-month time period to respond to requests
  3. Providing more robust, objective justifications when rejecting requests

Fines for contacting employees out of hours 

Portugal has followed France’s “right to disconnect” and made it illegal for employers to contact employees by email, text or phone outside of usual working hours (with potential fines for employers who breach the rules). Whilst measures like this aren’t on the agenda for the UK, they provide food for thought on conscious cultures of ‘self-regulation’ to ensure boundaries exist to maintain balance in the work-life divide.

Data protection series roundup 

Ensuring privacy notices are up to date, your audit routines are regular and robust, you know what great training looks like, and have the tools to maintain compliance – our latest data protection series has covered it all! If you’ve missed anything from the series, you can find the full series in our archive here! Get in touch for more information on our data protection support.


This update is accurate on the date it was sent (24 November 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.