Archives: Employment (UK)

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Holiday Pay: the latest instalment

As we start the summer holidays, the Supreme Court’s judgment on holiday pay is a timely reminder of the complexities of calculating holiday pay for certain workers. Holiday pay has been a hot topic in UK employment law over recent years, with the latest Supreme Court decision in Harpur Trust v Brazel addressing the calculation … Continue Reading

Unfair Dismissal Compensatory Awards – The Cost of Compliance

The recent case of Dafiaghor-Olomu v Community Integrated Care [2022] EAT 84 is a good demonstration of the rough justice that is occasionally dispensed by the Employment Tribunal system. It is well known that the amount of compensation that an employer can be ordered to pay for a straightforward unfair dismissal claim is subject to … Continue Reading

Sailing close to the wind: ‘without prejudice’ and the thresholds of ‘unambiguous impropriety’

The outcome of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions v Sommer [2022] EAT 78, (which we reported in this month’s newsletter) provides an interesting illustration of the scope of the ‘without prejudice’ privilege rules in the context of settling an employment tribunal claim. The ‘without prejudice’ rule (the “Rule”) allows parties to have a full and frank … Continue Reading

Strikes and cancellations: The impact of travel chaos on employers

With train strikes scheduled for next week, and flight cancellations now a regular occurrence, UK workers seem set for a summer of travel disruption. This blog explores the implication for employers, particularly where workers may be stuck abroad, or otherwise unable to get to their place of work. Flight cancellations After two years of restricted … Continue Reading

Queen’s Speech 2022: What next for UK Employment Law?

The Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament sets out the UK government’s legislative agenda for the year ahead. This year’s speech took place on 10 May, and in addition to the Queen’s absence, there was notable absence of any employment law reform. In particular, the long-awaited Employment Bill, which was included in the … Continue Reading

Covid-19 related refusal to attend the workplace

Covid-19 related reluctance or refusal to attend the workplace is nothing new, but as we enter a new phase of the pandemic, ‘Living with Covid’, developing case law will be of interest to employers who require or expect workers to attend the workplace on a full or hybrid basis. This blog considers the current guidance … Continue Reading

Ferry workers’ pay is still at sea

Despite resolving to close an exploited loophole on ferry worker pay, the government has stopped short of an amendment to UK national minimum wage legislation. In October 2020, legislative changes extended the minimum wage to most seafarers working on ships in UK waters, regardless of where a ship was registered, but those working on ferries … Continue Reading

Fire & rehire clampdown: will a new Statutory Code of Practice help?

The practice of ‘fire and rehire’ (i.e. dismissal of an employee and offering re-engagement on new, usually lesser, terms) as a way to facilitate a change to terms and conditions of employment has been under the spotlight in recent years. It is not a new strategy as a way of making changes to employment contracts, … Continue Reading

Workplace redundancies – what is lawful?

It is hard to avoid the media furore following the events at P&O Ferries last week, where approximately 800 staff were reportedly dismissed for redundancy, without notice and without prior consultation, before being replaced with cheaper staff. Leaving aside the specifics and merits of P&O’s actions (which are complicated by international and seafaring considerations), the … Continue Reading

Real Time Video Chat: Workplace vaccination policies in the UK: Latest trends and issues

Next up in our Real Time Video Chat series, David Ashmore, Carl De Cicco and Alison Heaton explore the latest trends and issues regarding workplace vaccination policies in the UK. The group discusses the current statutory position on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, sick pay policies affecting the unvaccinated and what the term “fully vaccinated” means for … Continue Reading

What does the booster jab mean for vaccine policies in the UK?

Whether employers can require evidence of vaccination as a condition of employment or attendance in the workplace has been a hot topic in recent months, with many employers (having weighed up various legal obligations and risks) introducing a policy featuring vaccination status to some extent. Yet vaccination status is not stable and the dilemma now … Continue Reading

Menopause in the workplace

Despite menopause being a natural part of the ageing process, there is a general lack of awareness of its symptoms and effects, often resulting in menopausal women* experiencing a lack of support, as well as discrimination and harassment. This blog looks at the legal issues, and what employers can and ought to be doing to … Continue Reading

COVID-19 SSP Rebate Scheme due to end on 30 September 2021

The COVID-19 SSP Rebate Scheme launched by the Government in May 2020 as part of a package of COVID-related financial support for employers is closing at the end of this month. The scheme enables small to medium sized employers to reclaim statutory sick pay (SSP) costs caused by absences due to coronavirus. SSP costs are … Continue Reading

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
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