Archives: Employment (UK)

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Preparing for a post-COVID-19 return to the workplace: what do UK employers need to think about from a health and safety and HR perspective?

Over recent weeks, the UK government has announced the first steps it is taking to get businesses up and running again in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This publication highlights a number of key areas for UK employers to consider as they start to plan ahead to re-establish and maintain their businesses, while at … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (updated position as at 20 April 2020)

On 20 March 2020, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme) as part of the UK government’s measures to help support businesses through the current COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen various iterations of guidance on the Scheme (on 26 March, 4 April, 9 April, 15 April and 17 April), and … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (updated position as at 15 April 2020)

On 20 March 2020, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme) as part of the UK government’s measures to help support businesses through the current COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen various iterations of  guidance on the Scheme (on 26 March, 4 April, 9 April, and 15 April), and on 15 … Continue Reading

Coronavirus (COVID-19) monthly round up as at 1 April 2020

What a month March has been! With the COVID-19 pandemic taking hold across the UK and globally, we’ve seen the UK government responding to the crisis by imposing increasingly restrictive limits on our activities, closing schools and workplaces, introducing emergency legislation within days, and announcing unprecedented levels of financial support. With updates and developments happening … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in the UK (updated position as at 27 March 2020)

On 20 March 2020, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme) as part of the UK government’s measures to help support businesses through the current COVID-19 pandemic. Brief guidance followed after the announcement, with more detailed guidance released on the evening of 26 March 2020. There is a lot we … Continue Reading

COVID-19 response: Changes to annual leave carry-over

Whilst the current COVID-19 pandemic has seen many businesses and industries suffer a significant downturn in work, for others the situation is reversed. Against this background, the UK government has announced further emergency legislation to relax the rules around the taking of annual leave. Under normal principles in the Working Time Regulations 1998 (the WTR), … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as at 23 March 2020

On Friday 20 March 2020, the UK government announced a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme) as part of its package of measures to help support businesses through the current COVID-19 pandemic. Following the announcement, separate guidance for employers and employees was issued but it is very early days in terms of understanding the detail … Continue Reading

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Employment and HR considerations in the UK

The coronavirus outbreak has been declared an international public health emergency, and the current risk level in the UK has been set at ‘moderate’. There are no current signs of the spread slowing down, with an increasing number of positive tests in the UK and worldwide. On 3 March 2020, the UK government announced that … Continue Reading

EEOC rescinds longstanding policy statement on mandatory binding arbitration

Last month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) surprisingly announced that it was formally rescinding its longstanding “Policy Statement on Mandatory Binding Arbitration of Employment Discrimination Disputes as a Condition of Employment,” which took the position that mandatory arbitration provisions between employers and employees were contrary to federal antidiscrimination laws. Originally issued in July … Continue Reading

When do beliefs attract legal protection at work?

An employer is likely to find a wide variety of beliefs held by its employees. We’re all aware that some people hold (and perhaps we share) firm beliefs as regards climate change, and there is certainly a growing trend towards a vegan lifestyle and beliefs. Others may hold beliefs in spiritualism, life after death, and … Continue Reading

German federal labor court gives further clarifications on controversial aspects with regard to vacation entitlements

Under German law, the (mostly mandatory) provisions of the German Federal Vacation Act (Bundesurlaubsgesetz – BUrlG) constitute the basic legal framework for vacation entitlements. The Federal Vacation Act itself has not been changed for years. However, there are still a number of unanswered questions and controversial debates regarding vacation claims in Germany. In 2019, the … Continue Reading

Maryland clamps down on non-competes

Maryland employers who wish to require their employees to sign a non-competition agreement beware. Effective October 1, 2019, non-competition agreements under Maryland law are valid only if the employee earns more than $15/hour or $31,200 annually. (See SB 328.) For employees who earn equal to or less than that, the agreement will be considered in … Continue Reading

Guarding against sexual harassment in the workplace: a robust policy is only the starting point

One in two women have been sexually harassed at work according to a survey conducted earlier this year by the Trades Union Congress. It is timely, therefore, that last month saw the launch of a specialist legal advice line for women in England and Wales experiencing sexual harassment at work. The advice line, run by … Continue Reading

Macron scale of damages for unfair dismissal: the lower French industrial tribunals strike back

In two decisions both rendered on 17 July 2019, the French Supreme Court ruled that the Macron scale (a mechanism introduced on 24 September 2017 to provide for caps and floors on damages for unfair dismissal) complies with international conventions ratified by the French government. These decisions were rendered through a specific procedure (demande d’avis) … Continue Reading

22 years is long enough – German Federal Labour Court rules that fixed-term employment contracts without material reason are permissible

In general, the conclusion of a fixed-term employment contract is permissible if it is justified by a material reason (section 14(1) of the German Act on Part-time and Temporary Work (Teilzeit– und Befristungsgesetz – TzBfG)). Term limitations without a material reason are only permitted for a maximum period of two years (section 14(2)1 of the … Continue Reading

Covert recordings at work on the rise in the UK

It is becoming increasingly common for employees to make covert recordings of meetings held with their employer. The reasons behind these recordings vary from a simple desire to keep a record of what is said to attempts to entrap their employer and use the recording against it in court proceedings. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) … Continue Reading

UK government consultation: UK to legislate on use of confidentiality (non-disclosure) agreements in the workplace

At the end of 2018, a report from a committee of the UK parliament called on employers and regulators to take a more proactive role in relation to sexual harassment in the workplace, including in relation to the use of confidentiality (non-disclosure) agreements. In its recent response to that inquiry, the government has set out … Continue Reading

Positive news for employers wishing to enforce post-termination restrictions

In an eagerly awaited decision, the Supreme Court gave its judgment on the meaning of wording commonly used in non-compete post-termination restrictions and the possibility of severing such wording where it would otherwise render such a restriction unenforceable. Background Ms Tillman was the Joint Global Head of Financial Services of executive search and recruitment firm … Continue Reading

Recording working time: do changes lie ahead?

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has recently decided that the Working Time Directive (WTD) imposes an obligation on employers in all EU member states to record all working time, not just excess hours or overtime. This marks a significant departure from standard practice and may mean that employers will, in future, be required to … Continue Reading

Court of Appeal: holiday pay must include regular voluntary overtime

Does pay for regular voluntary overtime need to be included in the calculation of holiday pay? Yes, says the Court of Appeal in a decision which confirms several prior Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decisions that the entitlement to holiday pay under the Working Time Directive (WTD) must include pay for regular voluntary overtime. As we … Continue Reading

Further blow for self-employed status: Tribunal finds that Hermes couriers are “workers”

Employment status in the UK The UK recognises three categories of employment status: employees, workers and self-employed contractors, each with varying levels of protection under employment law.  Employees are entitled to the full suite of employment rights, while self-employed contractors have very little protection under employment law. Workers who are not employees sit somewhere in … Continue Reading

Supreme Court decision announced in Pimlico Plumbers case

The Supreme Court has delivered its ruling on the landmark Pimlico Plumbers case, upholding previous decisions that an ostensibly ‘self employed’ plumber was in fact properly classified as a ‘worker’ with valuable employment rights under UK law (including discrimination protection and holiday pay). The case has been closely monitored because of its impact on organisations engaging large numbers … Continue Reading

Employment Tribunal Fee Regime: An Unlawful Barrier to Justice

The Supreme Court has today found in favour of the trade union UNISON in its judicial review of the UK Employment Tribunal fees regime, unanimously holding that the legislation implementing the current regime is unlawful both under domestic and EU law. The immediate consequence is that the Tribunal fees regime is quashed with effect from … Continue Reading
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