Ms Carolyn Soakell

Carolyn Soakell


Employment & Immigration

Self-employed financial support extended again until September 2021
United Kingdom | 17 March 2021

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been extended with a fifth and final grant covering May 2021 to September 2021, with further guidance on eligibility for the fourth grant (covering 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021). The fourth grant will be calculated at 80% of three months' average trading profits and will be capped at £7,500. The fifth grant will be calculated on a different basis, reflecting the government's intention that businesses should be operating more normally by the end of June 2021.

Counting the cost – Court of Appeal rules that budget considerations can justify indirect discrimination
United Kingdom | 27 January 2021

In a recent case, the Court of Appeal revisited the so-called 'costs-plus' rule and considered the extent to which employers can rely on cost and budget considerations when justifying policies that may disadvantage some protected groups. If employers have a policy which is indirectly discriminatory and their aim is no more than to save money, the Court of Appeal has ruled that this cannot justify the discrimination. However, needing to balance the books can be a valid justification for indirect discrimination.

Self-employed financial support extended until April 2021
United Kingdom | 18 November 2020

The government's Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been extended for a further six months, providing two further three-month grants after the expiry of the second grant period. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced that all three months of the third grant will be calculated at 80% (with a £7,500 cap), which will no doubt be welcome news for the self-employed as England enters its new lockdown.

Furlough scheme extended as England prepares to enter new lockdown
United Kingdom | 04 November 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the furlough scheme) will be extended rather than closed as originally planned. The extension will cover a new lockdown in England, which is expected to come into force on 5 November 2020 and last until 2 December 2020. This article summarises the immediate questions and implications for employers and provides possible wordings that they can use to inform employees of the changes.

Financial support for self-employed extended in line with employee furlough scheme
United Kingdom | 08 July 2020

The government's Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been extended to provide a second three-month grant for self-employed individuals affected by COVID-19 after 13 July 2020. The value of the second self-employed grants has been reduced to 70% of trading profit for three months. The government has made it clear that financial support cannot continue indefinitely, and that this will be the final grant instalment under the self-employed scheme.

Court of Appeal rules on liability of overseas co-workers for whistleblowing
United Kingdom | 19 June 2019

In an unusual case of whistleblowing detriment brought by an overseas employee against two co-workers (also based overseas), the Court of Appeal has ruled that the employment tribunal in question had no jurisdiction to hear the claim in relation to personal liability of the co-workers because they were outside the scope of UK employment law. The decision may have implications for other types of claim brought by employees posted overseas where similar personal liability provisions apply.

Gender pay gap reporting to start in 2018
United Kingdom | 16 March 2016

Following the government's failure to deliver its promised Christmas gift of draft gender pay gap reporting regulations, it has now published its response to the 2015 consultation, along with draft regulations. As indicated in the initial consultation, employers will be given a significant period to prepare for reporting, with the first reporting required by April 2018.