Archives: Employment (UK)

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Overview of the governments’ ‘Consultation on sexual harassment in the workplace: government response’

The UK government’s long awaited response to its 2018 consultation on sexual harassment in the workplace has now been published. In this update, we look at the findings made and what may be coming down the line for employers as a result. Introduction The 2018 Women and Equalities Select Committee (WESC) report on sexual harassment … Continue Reading

Preparing for a return to the workplace in the UK after 19 July 2021

With the lifting of COVID-19 legal restrictions in England on 19 July 2021, David Ashmore (Partner) and Alison Heaton (Knowledge Management Lawyer) from the Reed Smith employment team comment on the key issues/hot topics for employers. What is changing on 19 July for employers? The instruction to work from home if you can is being … Continue Reading

COVID-19, health and safety and dismissal

COVID-19 has thrown up numerous and multi-varied concerns for employers and employees alike. One notable area of consideration and concern has been the delicate and difficult issue of dismissals related to health and safety reasons. A recent case has shed more light on how Tribunals may deal with the pandemic-related workplace issue of employees’ refusal … Continue Reading

IR35 changes – Are you ready?

With 6 April 2021 quickly approaching, the IR35 reforms are now back on the agenda and fast becoming a priority. Affected businesses need to have their implementation process in place before the IR35 reforms take effect. IR35 is designed to ensure that appropriate income tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) are paid by contractors who … Continue Reading

UK Employment Law update – December 2020

Welcome to our monthly newsletter, with a summary of the latest news and developments in UK employment law. A PDF version of this newsletter can be accessed here. This issue will provide recent case law updates, law reform and legislative developments, COVID-19 updates and any other news over recent weeks. Case law updates Collective redundancy … Continue Reading

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
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