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Samuel Phillips Law Blog

Employment

Employment

Working during school closures

On Monday 4 January 2021, the Prime Minister announced that schools and colleges are to be closed to most pupils until at least half term in February. This last-minute change has, understandably, worried parents and employers.

Employment

Brexit Deal & Employment Law – The Key Points

The UK has struck a deal with the EU which at its heart sought to secure a tariff and quota-free trade deal.  To achieve this agreement, after a tortuous four years of posturing, compromises have naturally been made.

Employment

Jaguar Land Rover Required to find Reverse Gear

Jaguar Land Rover assembly line worker Vic Rumbold had suffered many years of ill health, so bad was his sickness record that each year of his 20-year career at JLR his sickness days exceeded at least 10.  His employer estimated the days missed which equated to a massive 808 shifts had cost the business was in excess of £95k.

Employment

Brexit – Data Protection from 1 January 2021

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. As a result, the transition period will end on 31 December 2020. Businesses in the UK that process personal data are currently required to adhere to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) and the UK Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018.

Employment

Brexit – hiring EU employees during the transition period and beyond

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. As a result, free movement for nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) (and Switzerland) will end on 31 December 2020. From 1 January 2021, the UK will operate a new points-based immigration system and EEA citizens moving to the UK to work will need to obtain a visa in advance.

Employment

Tiers, Tinsel and Teams – Company Christmas Party in 2020

With 2020 proving to be one of the most testing and stressful years most can recall, employers are looking to the works end of year party as an overdue opportunity to thank staff and allow them time to let off some steam.

Employment

Virtual Liability – Running a Successful “Online” Christmas Party

One common misconception is that a works event held away from the office or outside normal working hours, removes your organisations liability from any incidents that might occur.  That’s simply not true.

Employment

Brexit – The “B Word” is Back in Play

Keeping an eye on what we need to monitor and manage as Brexit deadlines loom large on the horizon. It’s true, the “B” word has started to appear again after the Oxford English Dictionary confirmed the rise in prevalence of words related to the Pandemic saw the word “Brexit” drop by an amazing 80% in 2020.

Employment

Extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) as announced on 5 November 2020

The Chancellor has extended the extended furlough scheme which will now remain in force until 31 March 2021 and will be reviewed in January. Individuals on furlough, whether full-time furlough or flexible furlough receive 80% of wages capped at £2,500. The pay cap is proportionate to hours not worked so if you are absent four days out of five the cap is £2,000, three days out of five £1,500.

Employment

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – How to Claim

Rishi Sunak signed off the treasury direction to HMRC on 1 October 2020. Find out how to claim under the JRBS.

Employment

Working from home – the generational divide

Over a third of those currently employed are now working from home, including half of those who normally worked in an office before lockdown. In a new survey by Ipsos MORI, 6 in 10 (59%) of those now working mainly from home say it is not a challenge, while 40% admit to experiencing at the very least, fairly challenging circumstances.

Employment

Should I stay or should I go?

At first consideration you might expect the average UK worker to be desperate to get back to the “normality” of their working environment, to meet colleagues not seen for months save for a “Brady Bunch” Zoom collective and a sense of identity rekindled in routine. There’s also the opportunity to be free of the same four walls and as much as you love them, have space from the children and partner (probably a bonus for them too) so you can re-establish working relationships and get to know what’s really happening behind the scenes.

Employment

When Signed Agreements Fail

A recent finding of an Employment Tribunal has added fuel to the call for greater clarity concerning the definition of a “worker”. This case O’Eachtiarna and others v CitySprint (UK) involved five cycle couriers who were engaged by CitySprint. The couriers claimed they were entitled to holiday pay as they were “workers” for the company a point that was contested by the respondent.

Employment

Job Retention Bonus Scheme and Notice

Rishi Sunak has just issued the summer statement and has outlined details of a job retention bonus scheme.  Guidance is to be issued by 31 July, which I suspect means in practice 5.00 pm 31 July 2020. The requirements of the scheme seem to be quite simple.

Employment

Redundancy Selection Criteria – KISS

Redundancy selection criteria is one of the most contentious areas within redundancy.  It need not be.  As the acronym suggests “keep it simple stupid”. You can have objective criteria (eg attendance).  You can have subjective criteria (eg attitude).  In effect, as long as the criteria you select are not utter drivel eg “karma” that is fine.  The key issue is to draw up clear guidelines of what you mean and how you score with examples.

Employment

Flexible Furlough Scheme

1 July is the day that the Flexible Furlough Scheme starts. Those who have been on furlough and are going to remain on furlough do not require anything.  Leave them alone. To those you are intending to potentially return to work under the Flexible Furlough Scheme either part time or increasing hours or flexible hours then there needs to be a Flexible Furlough Agreement issued and preferably signed.

Employment

Redundancy Selection Pools

There are no hard and fast rules about drawing up selection pools.  However the good news is, there is more than one way in which to create a selection pool and as long as your way is reasonable, that is good enough, even if there is another way that is also reasonable. The first question you ask yourself is what is the area of work that is changing?  This could be a geographic change such as closing a depot or a change in the type of work which the business is performing.

Employment

Avoiding Redundancy

The law requires you to look at means of avoiding redundancies before you proceed to them. It takes some time for the redundancy and notice costs to unwind and for wage savings to manifest themselves. Finally, when you lose staff you lose customer contacts and organisational knowledge.  Is it worth it if you are potentially going to have to recruit in the foreseeable future thereby incurring recruitment and induction costs.

Employment

The three most common types of redundancy and three most common failings

In this article, senior partner Robert Gibson explores the three different types of redundancy, including common mistakes in how employers term redundancies. Robert also details the most common types of challenge and advises on the best way to avoid the three main pitfalls facing employers.

Employment

Redundancy – starting the process

Redundancy is where you close all or part of your business or employ fewer people to run it. You begin any redundancy process by asking the question why – what has changed.  What steps have you taken already to try and save costs (bank, landlord, suppliers).  Going forward what does the “new normal” look like.  Take a little time to set down some basic facts and figures in a simple business overview.

Employment

FFS yet more guidance

On 12 June 2020, HM Revenue and Customs published further updates to the official guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The updated guidance now includes details of how the scheme is to be wound down between July and October this year, as announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 29 May.

Employment

The Four Day Week – A Post Pandemic Answer?

There’s a growing body of opinion amongst leaders of countries and corporations that a four-day week may well be the answer to a phased return to work. New Zealand’s impressive PM, Jacinda Ardern, discussed the option during a recent Facebook live broadcast. Specifically referencing the need to boost the tourism sector she identified that 60% of the industry’s income was generated by locals.

Employment

Track and Trace + Health & Safety = Employment Disputes?

There’s a strong possibility that the forthcoming launch of the Government’s Track and Trace system aligned with concerns over health and safety at work, as employees start to return, may lead to an increase in disputes between staff and employers.

Employment

Furlough Scheme Update

Here below please find a summary of the Chancellor's recent notification (29th May) highlighting revisions to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) aka “Furlough”. From 1 July 2020, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back part-time. Individual organisations will need to decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work. The employers will be responsible for paying their wages while in work.

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