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Legal news: Employment update

Susan Mackay rounds up the latest developments affecting employers and their advisers Although the responses to BEIS’ consultation were generally in favour of a new workers’ watchdog, a number of concerns were raised. Workers’ Watchdog: New single enforcement body to be created On 8 June, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published …
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Covid-19: Health and safety dismissals – a tale of two cases

Danielle Parsons and Rebecca Denvers compare two recent decisions in which the claimants argued that their dismissals were automatically unfair under the ‘serious and imminent danger’ provisions in the ERA It has not been difficult for employees to establish a reasonable belief that there were circumstances of danger in the early days of the pandemic …
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Brexit: Settlement scheme deadline – what can employers do now?

Amanda Sanders and Aida Geragusian review the updated rules on right-to-work checks and what happens if an EEA national has not applied for settled or pre-settled status in time From 1 July 2021, employers need to request evidence of an EEA national’s status under the EUSS or under an alternative UK immigration route before employment …
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Philosophical belief: Managing opposing beliefs in the workplace – what employers need to know

Monica Kurnatowska and Rachel Farr assess the impact on employers of the EAT’s decision that ‘gender-critical’ beliefs are protected under the Equality Act The tribunals’ role is not to decide which side is right, or holds the more acceptable views, but to ensure that those with different views tolerate each other. Forstater v CGD Europe …
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Contract variations: ‘Fire and rehire’ – not such an easy option

In light of a recent tribunal decision and an Acas report on the subject, Christopher Fisher and Alex Sperling consider how to minimise the legal risks when carrying out dismissal and re-engagement processes For now at least, the fire and rehire process remains available to employers but, while it is undoubtedly a well-trodden path, it …
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Industrial action: EAT muddies the waters on protections for employees who go on strike

A recent ruling has highlighted the need to reform the UK’s patchwork of trade union legislation, writes Fraser Younson The EAT’s decision seems to proceed on the basis that the right to take industrial action is absolute and does not need to be balanced against the ‘rights and freedoms of others’. The recent decision by …
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Case law: Disability discrimination in 2021 – lessons from recent decisions

Barry Stanton and Jemille Gibson examine the key points to arise from the latest crop of disability discrimination cases The employer’s actions or inactions can only be judged in the light of circumstances at the time of those actions. Tribunals are not permitted to take account of events that occur after the alleged discriminatory acts. …
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Information technology: WhatsApp got to do, got to do with it?

Katie Mahoney discusses the perils of employees using WhatsApp at work If an employer has no policy on WhatsApp use and has not notified staff that WhatsApp communications will be accessed, it will be difficult to demonstrate compliance with the GDPR and the right to private life in the ECHR. Over the course of the …
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Legal news: Employment update

Jo Broadbent rounds up recent developments affecting employers and their advisers Once a breach of duty occurs, an employer’s subsequent actions to make amends will not remedy the situation. Re-engagement not practicable because of employer’s genuine doubts about capability Kelly v PGA European Tour [2021] is a relatively rare example of a Court of Appeal …
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Automatic unfair dismissal: Understand employees’ protection from dismissal for health and safety reasons

A supervisor’s recent EAT win has highlighted the extent of the protections available to employees who have health and safety duties, explains Annabel Mackay Provided that employees act within their mandate and do not carry out their activities in a malicious or extraneous manner, they will enjoy protection from dismissal. The recent case of Sinclair …
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