Guidance for employers on conducting disciplinary and grievance procedures during the Coronavirus pandemic
The primary focus of a ‘COVID-19 secure’ environment is protecting the health and safety of the workforce. Employers have a statutory and common law duty to provide a safe workplace and to conduct risk assessments. An employer must take all reasonable steps to ensure that their staff work in a safe environment, and if it fails to provide adequate measures to protect the workforce, it could face legal criminal and civil liability.
It is clear that many employees who have successfully been working from home or otherwise working flexibly due to the pandemic may want to discuss retaining such flexibility in the longer term. Your business may also have been affected by the pandemic and you may be considering your rental liabilities going forward. The property market has been heavily affected by the pandemic, analysts at RBC Capital Markets expect office rents in the City to fall by 23% this year. Employers with a large office base therefore need to consider their long-term property needs.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is currently preparing further guidance for workplaces in different sectors of the economy, regarding steps they can take to adequately protect their workers. Employers should ensure they keep abreast of the guidance, which is being updated regularly, and update policies, procedures and internal communications appropriately. However, employers should also consider what the longer term landscape might look like regarding use of buildings and workspaces. Appropriate building adjustments should be factored into any longer-term strategy or cost-cutting measures, to ensure a safe and appropriate space is provided for staff in the most cost-effective manner possible under the circumstances.
On 16 March 2020 Number 10 advised those living in the UK against “non-essential travel” in order to curb the growing outbreak of Coronavirus. This encouraged many office-based businesses to communicate to their employees that they should work from home until further notice.
The UK is currently facing a housing crisis. Looking at London in particular, the property market has not been able to support the exponential growth of residents in the capital.
A Director at the National Crime Agency recently voiced concern about crypto assets being used to fund property purchases in the UK. The NCA’s Nigel Leary was quoted by The Times as saying: “Anything purchased with crypto assets I’d be slightly sceptical about. I’d like to see why they’re being done in that way and what the requirement is for that anonymity, and why it needed to be done in a crypto transaction.”
The price of Bitcoin and other crypto assets is notoriously unstable. Whether caused by a cryptic crypto related tweet from a billionaire inventor, or a crypto crackdown being announced by regulators of the world’s second largest economy, the rise and fall of crypto assets continues to prove that crypto can be risky business.
This week, the Government announced that Covid-19 vaccinations will be made compulsory for care home staff, raising strong emotions on both sides of the argument.
The breakdown of a relationship is a challenging and stressful time, even when you and your partner are on relatively good terms.
There are a number of support services we recommend to help manage the strain which comes with relationship breakdown and the significant changes to your and your children’s circumstances. People often go first to friends and family and then perhaps to a lawyer, counsellor or financial advisor. Many people do not feel comfortable talking to their employer about their circumstances and in this blog, we explore how it can be important from both a personal as well as family law and employment law perspectives.
Most of us have spent the last few months largely confined to our homes, as we do our bit to follow the “stay home” guidance and fight the pandemic. Whilst every household is different, most will attest to the stresses and strains that have evolved from not leaving the house, home-schooling, working from home, working from home whilst home-schooling or being furloughed and unable to go to work.
As you will be aware from our earlier blog, the government introduced a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday which began on 8th July 2020 and ends on 31st March 2021.
As 2020 drew to a close, many people had high hopes for 2021.However, the virulent and unforgiving COVID-19 pandemic has ensured it has not been an easy start to the year for most.
Some senior executives will be looking for a change, others may have fallen victim to one of the rounds of redundancy which have resulted from the pandemic.
On 12 March 2018 the SRA published its warning notice on the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). This was in the wake of the widespread publicity at the time given to NDAs which had been considered too draconian in reach and effect.
According to Diversity UK, in 2018 roughly 13.8% of the UK population was from a minority ethnic background and 40% of the population in London were from the Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.
The global events of this year including the Black Lives Matter movement, the apparent disproportionate impact on the BAME population of COVID-19 and news that the ethnicity pay gap remains significant, have again brought the issue of lack of racial equality to the fore.
There has been much mention in the press in recent times about the amount of allegedly incorrect or fraudulent claims made by employers under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) (furlough scheme).
The Government has published the most recent Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 (“the Regulations”), taking us into a second lockdown, which will likely remind buyers and sellers of the months in which they could not view houses and building sites, and added complications to exchanging contracts, or completing transactions.
The Prime Minister’s recent announcement regarding the new restrictions to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic has come as a blow to many businesses, particularly in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors. The call for office workers who can work effectively from home to do so over the winter (confirmed in revised Guidance) represents a clear shift in the Government’s position from just a few weeks ago, when it was encouraging people to return to the workplace.
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new Job Support Scheme designed to protect the UK economy through what he described as a “difficult winter" ahead. As opposed to extending the current furlough scheme beyond 31 October, the government’s new Job Support Scheme will run for six months from 1 November 2020.
With the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“Furlough Scheme”) coming to an end in October, children returning to school this month and the Government’s new “rule of six” imposing stricter social measures in order to keep businesses open, many employees are now making a return to the workplace. Whilst this is generally a positive development for the economy at large, it will inevitably open up a number of challenges for employers. We consider below some of the key practical considerations for businesses and suggest steps they can take in order to minimise their exposure to legal risks.
Richard Fox explains the consequences employers can expect to face if they have intentionally or accidentally misused the job retention scheme
Furlough has undoubtedly been a huge success. According to the British Chamber of Commerce, since March the scheme has been used by two thirds of British businesses supporting approximately 9.4 million jobs. Yet at a cost approaching an eye-watering £30 billion to the taxpayer, it is understandable that the Government has confirmed it is now “using every tool and piece of intelligence to prevent, detect and disrupt fraud” in relation to the scheme.
Skip to content Home About Us Insights Services Contact Accessibility