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Bereavement: Supporting employees through baby or pregnancy loss

Jessica Wicker and Laura Penny look at employees’ rights if they experience a miscarriage or stillbirth and consider some options available to employers if they are looking to go beyond their statutory obligations It is usually up to the discretion of the individual employer whether to offer compassionate leave, annual leave or unpaid leave if …
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Sexual harassment: Are proposed reforms too little too late?

Peter Summerfield comments on the government’s long-awaited response to its 2019 sexual harassment consultation The proposals appear substantially watered down compared to the WESC and EHRC recommendations and the timing leaves it open for the implementation of even these measures to be delayed. In July 2019, spurred on by the #MeToo movement and a previous …
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Misconduct: Employees behaving badly – can employers dismiss for bad behaviour outside the workplace?

In light of high-profile incidents over the summer, Michelle Clarke investigates employers’ ability to discipline employees whose conduct outside work has caused public outrage Employers should give careful thought to the facts that are known, or the details that they need to uncover, and decide whether there is a link between the employee’s misbehaviour and …
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Employee monitoring: CCTV recording at work – principles and pitfalls

Mike Hibberd warns that it is no easy matter to act on evidence of misconduct or poor performance obtained through electronic surveillance CCTV systems must always be used for a specified purpose to further a legitimate aim and their use must be necessary for meeting an identified pressing need. Employee monitoring is always a hot …
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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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