Latest updates

What does the COVID-19 tier system mean for offices?
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 October 2020

New regulations underpinning the three-tier lockdown system are now in force in England as part of the government's efforts to step up its response to the pandemic. This article considers whether the new regulations will demand a stricter approach to office work, as well as what may constitute a gathering, the rules for travelling to work in a different tier and how to approach client and internal work meetings.

Global Talent visas for digital technology applicants: factsheet
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 October 2020

The Global Talent visa route is designed for individuals who are recognised or emerging leaders in digital technology and wish to work in the United Kingdom. Successful applicants will be granted up to five years' leave in the United Kingdom and can apply to extend their visa as many times as they like. This article outlines the criteria for endorsement used to assess whether an applicant qualifies as either a recognised or an emerging leader.

Proposed new rights to sick pay and parental leave pay
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Ireland
  • 14 October 2020

The Labour Party has proposed the Sick Leave and Parental Leave (COVID-19) Bill 2020 which, if passed, would give employees in Ireland the legal right to paid sick leave for the first time. It also proposes paid leave for employees whose children must stay at home from school due to COVID-19 measures.

Employment tribunals – will Winter 2020 see a flurry of claims?
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 14 October 2020

It is almost inevitable that the coming months will see employers receiving more employment tribunal (ET) claims. Imminent changes in ET procedures are likely to reduce case backlogs and lead to claims progressing to a hearing more quickly in a climate in which employment disputes are increasing. How will this affect employers?

MAC publishes report recommending expanded shortage occupation lists
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 14 October 2020

The Migration Advisory Committee has recommended a significant expansion of the occupations deemed to be in shortage for the purposes of sponsorship under the new skilled worker category, which will replace Tier 2 (General) from 1 January 2021. The Home Office will now need to consider the recommendations and finalise the Immigration Rules for skilled workers.

COVID-19 Job Support Scheme – FAQs for employers
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 07 October 2020

The government's new Job Support Scheme (JSS) replaces the furlough scheme and will start on 1 November 2020. The JSS will provide ongoing wage support for people in work, provided that employers meet certain access conditions, employees are working at least 33% of their usual hours and employers also provide additional wage support. This article answers FAQs covering eligibility, how the scheme works, what employers must agree with employees and alternative resourcing options for employers.

Countdown to new 2021 immigration system and Brexit – are you ready?
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 07 October 2020

From 1 January 2021 there will be a new immigration system in the United Kingdom. Due to free movement ending, the new system will apply to EEA and Swiss nationals as well as non-EEA nationals. Employers must start to prepare for this change now. This article provides a timeline which outlines the areas that employers must consider and suggests timeframes for taking action.

New Job Support Scheme to replace furlough scheme announced
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 30 September 2020

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced a new Job Support Scheme to replace the furlough scheme. It will start on 1 November 2020 and run for six months. This article sums up the key features of the scheme and looks at the important questions from an employment law perspective.

New Immigration Rules for students give employers insight into what's to come for workers
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 30 September 2020

The Home Office recently published new Immigration Rules for students. The rules provide the first glimpse of the new points-based immigration system and highlight what some of its implications will be, not only for students, but also for employers and workers. While the new rules for work routes will not be published until later in Autumn 2020, the new rules for students provide some significant pointers on the Home Office's general thinking and flag some areas in which further policy clarifications will be needed.

Face coverings and the workplace
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 23 September 2020

What health and safety obligations do employers have towards employees and visitors with regard to face coverings in the workplace? How should they enforce wearing face coverings if people refuse? And how should they protect employees from abusive customers or visitors? This article discusses the current rules regarding face coverings at work and some of the practical issues that may arise for employers.

ICIBI calls for evidence on UKVI's commercial partners' performance
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 23 September 2020

Employers and other stakeholders have until 1 October 2020 to provide the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) with views on how well the commercial partners of UK Visas and Immigration are performing, for applications made both in the United Kingdom and abroad. The ICIBI is seeking evidence from stakeholders on whether commercial partners are meeting the needs of UK visa applicants.

Positive action speaks louder than words – five principles for employers
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 16 September 2020

This article explores the legal limits of positive action in the workplace, including situations where it is permissible to give preference on gender or ethnicity grounds to make up for a historic lack of opportunity and what employers can and cannot do to improve diversity in their shortlists or hiring slates.

Innovator visa: everything you need to know
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 16 September 2020

This article outlines everything that applicants should know regarding the Innovator visa, including with regard to the purpose and length of stay, endorsing bodies, endorsement criteria and genuineness and other considerations. The innovator route is open to applicants who are experienced businesspeople looking to establish a business in the United Kingdom and are the founders of their business, relying on their own business plans, among other things.

Start-up visa: everything you need to know
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 09 September 2020

This article outlines everything that applicants should know regarding the requirements for the Start-up visa, including with regard to the purpose and length of stay, endorsing bodies, endorsement criteria and genuineness and other considerations. The start-up route is open to applicants who are looking to establish a business in the United Kingdom for the first time and are the founders of their business, relying on their own business plans, among other things.

Increase in parental leave entitlements
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Ireland
  • 09 September 2020

On 1 September 2020 unpaid parental leave entitlement in Ireland was increased from 22 weeks to 26 weeks. This means that eligible parents will be able to take 26 weeks' parental leave for each child who falls within the prescribed thresholds. Employers should check their policies and procedures to take into account the increase from 1 September 2020 onwards.

Algorithms and employment law: do they reduce or embed bias?
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 09 September 2020

Recent years have seen rapid growth in the use of algorithms in employment, particularly in recruitment. Algorithms are now being used in interviews – for example, to assess candidates on their facial and vocal expressions. This article explains why claims regarding algorithms and discrimination are likely to become more common in the years ahead, something which UK employment law and enforcement mechanisms are ill-equipped to deal with.

UK immigration strategies for EEA business travellers and workers from 2021
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 02 September 2020

EEA nationals and their employers are now turning their minds towards how frequent business and work travellers and cross-border commuters can continue to come to the United Kingdom from 2021. For some, the best solution may be offered by the EU Settlement Scheme, but there are also other options to consider.

Finance Act 2020 widens scope of IR35
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 02 September 2020

Despite further attempts at delay, the final version of the notorious private sector IR35 rules are now enshrined in the Finance Act 2020, which recently received royal assent. Under the IR35 rules, from April 2021 large and medium-sized businesses will be required to determine the status of any contractors providing their labour to the business through personal services companies or other intermediaries and, if appropriate, operate pay as you earn and make national insurance contributions.

Home Office issues communications to sponsors regarding licence renewals
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 26 August 2020

The Home Office has started to make early contact with sponsors whose licences are due to expire before the end of 2020. These sponsors will be able to apply to renew their licences earlier than the usual maximum 90 days before expiry. This should help to avoid delays at the end of 2020 when thousands of licences are up for renewal at the same time as European free movement ends for UK citizens.

Flexible working post-COVID-19 – sea change or nothing new?
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 26 August 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns have caused millions to work from home for the first time – an experience likely to cause a surge in requests for flexible working arrangements once most employees are asked to return to the workplace. This article considers the legal position and the practicalities for employers in dealing with flexible-working requests.

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