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The government has published new COVID-19-secure guidance for office settings which includes updated guidance on who should go to work. The guidance restates that anyone who can work from home should do so. However, the guidance goes on to state that employers should consider whether homeworking is appropriate for workers facing mental or physical health difficulties or those with a particularly challenging working environment at home.
Amendments to the Part-Time and Fixed-Term Employment Act recently entered into force, aiming to achieve equal pay for equal work. As such, employers cannot create differences in base salary, bonuses and other treatments between part-time and fixed-term employees (so-called 'irregular employees') and non-fixed-term employees (so-called 'regular employees') in light of duties, the level of responsibility and the scope of changes in their job descriptions and assignment.
This article covers three recent cases that employers should keep in mind. The first serves as a reminder that employment contracts must be carefully drafted to ensure compliance with the Employment Standards Act. The second makes clear that parties to employment contracts must be careful not to deceive one another and, where they have, must take appropriate steps to correct false impressions. The third is an example of the dangers of using fixed-term contracts that contain no early termination clauses.
The Home Office recently clarified the documentation that sponsors of workers must keep regarding their recruitment activity. The changes are helpful and should not be onerous for sponsors to comply with; however, there may be actions that some employers will need to take to ensure compliance. This article highlights the changes that are set out in Appendix D to the sponsor guidance, which covers document-keeping requirements for sponsors.
A court recently held that an employee's dismissal had been unlawful and ordered her to be reinstated. Following her reinstatement, the employee asked her employer to pay her an indemnity in lieu of holiday and leave not enjoyed in the period between her dismissal and her reinstatement. The Supreme Court departed from its own precedents on this matter and ruled that the claim was grounded, in line with certain European Court of Justice rulings.
As the COVID-19 vaccination campaign moves forward, employers are asking questions regarding the impact of vaccination on their workforce. Unfortunately, there is little guidance on such matters, leaving significant ambiguity as to how the authorities or the courts might respond to a particular case. With that in mind, this article sets out some of the most common questions that employers are asking and provides suggestions on how to address some of the underlying uncertainties.
In a significant case for the care sector, the Supreme Court has finally given its long-awaited judgment on whether care workers working so-called 'sleep-in' shifts are entitled to the national minimum wage (NMW) for periods when they are asleep. The decision makes clear that individuals who are expected to sleep during a shift are entitled to the NMW only when they are awake for the purposes of performing duties.
The Home Office has provided UK employers with further details about which actions they may take when checking the right to work of EEA nationals and their family members during the post-transition grace period from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021. The guidance covers topics including checking right-to-work documentation issued under the Immigration Rules and carrying out retrospective right-to-work checks for existing employees.
The Social Information and Investigation Service (SIOD/SIRS) recently published its 2021 action plan revealing its strategy and top priorities for the year. Similar to recent years, the construction sector remains a target. This article summarises what employers can expect in 2021 and how they can prepare, based on the SIOD/SIRS checklist.
A labour arbitrator recently rejected a union's challenge to an employer's COVID-19 employee testing policy. The arbitrator dismissed the grievance and found that the employer, a retirement home, had implemented a reasonable policy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among its residents. The employer's reliance on public health guidance to create a COVID-19 employee testing policy was found to be reasonable.
The Home Office is launching a new graduate route from 1 July 2021 and is making amendments to the skilled worker route from 6 April 2021, including changes to the shortage occupation list, the eligible occupations, the salary calculation rules and the compliance requirements where a salary is reduced. This article discusses the implications of the main changes and flags the changes that will most likely be of interest to employers.
Israel recently commenced a broad vaccination campaign to stop the spread of COVID-19. Employers have many questions, including with regard to how they can act towards employees who refuse vaccination and whether they can provide incentives to workers who choose to get vaccinated. These FAQs answer everything that employers need to know about COVID-19 vaccination in Israel.
In a recent press release, the Ministry for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy and the Ministry of the Economy clarified how the short-time working system will be applied between 1 April 2021 and 30 June 2021. This article highlights the implications for different businesses, including industrial businesses and those in the vulnerable sectors relating to tourism and events.
An arbitrator recently found that an employee's failure to follow their employer's and the public health guidelines relating to COVID-19 was just cause for termination. As a unionised employee, the employee benefited from the just cause protections for termination under the collective agreement. Despite those protections, the arbitrator found that the employee's actions were a "clear violation" of COVID-19 guidelines and warranted dismissal.
Testing for COVID-19 at work is set to play an important role in the government's gradual reopening plans with employers being strongly urged to sign up for free lateral flow tests. These FAQs cover the legal issues and considerations that employers should take on board before rolling out a workplace testing programme.
The dangers of COVID-19 continue to hamper workforces' efficiency. Understandably, employers may want to hasten their employees' vaccination by imposing a mandatory vaccination programme to recoup losses caused by the pandemic. However, a new law and recent regulatory publications state, in no uncertain terms, that the absence of COVID-19 vaccination will not prejudice employees.
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.
Although the United Kingdom and the European Union have found agreement in facilitating the trade of goods, nothing is provisioned for cross-border professionals on both sides of the Channel. UK nationals who relocate now will be treated in the Netherlands as third-country nationals. This article highlights everything that UK nationals relocating to the Netherlands need to know.
Under the Employment Contracts Act, employers and employees may agree on non-compete obligations only in limited circumstances. However, in practice, the criteria are vague and non-compete obligations have been used more commonly than what was originally intended. The reform of the Employment Contracts Act aims to change this situation and ensure that employers carefully consider when to include non-compete obligations in employment contracts.