Keeping it in the family
With the current economic climate characterised by Covid-19 related downturn, the prospect of redundancy is becoming an increasing reality as many businesses consider scaling down, particularly when the Government’s furlough scheme is phased out.
The recent Black Lives Matter protests have rightfully brought racial inequality to the fore, leading to a renewed focus on the lack of progress of UK organisations to improve racial diversity in the workplace. The evidence is clear. BAME individuals in the UK are both less likely to participate in and then less likely to progress through the workplace when compared with white individuals. The structural bias which exists in organisations, and which favours a select group of individuals to the detriment of BAME individuals, has been exposed. Business leaders have vocalised their commitment to tackle racial inequality, pledging to set diversity targets within their organisations to improve BAME representation. The Premier League, English Football League and Professional Footballers' Association have announced a new initiative which will give six BAME coaches a 23-month work placement scheme in an effort to increase the number of BAME coaches.
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.
Are you proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant, at one establishment, within a period of 90 days or less? If so, you will need to carry out a collective consultation process. Failure to comply with collective consultation obligations can result in protective awards being made against employers, of up to 90 days’ gross actual pay for each affected employee. It is therefore important to carefully plan such processes.
In recent months we have seen exceptionally high Employment Tribunal (ET) costs orders against unsuccessful claimants. We consider two reported cases below, with important lessons for ET claimants, particularly regulated professionals.
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