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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Financial provision: Risky business

David Wilkinson analyses a recent decision on an application to set aside based on the impact of Covid-19 on asset values In FRB v DCA (No 3), a dearth of evidence regarding the specific impact of the pandemic on the husband’s extensive asset base, which ranged across various countries and industries, coupled with unfavourable findings …
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Covid-19: FAQs on the return to the office

John Hayes and Jemma Sherwood-Roberts provide answers to employers’ questions on fearful commuters, ‘no jab no job’, flexible working requests, health and safety in the office and more Employers have a duty to consult their workforce on health and safety, and government guidance suggests holding discussions with individual workers about steps to make the return …
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Coronavirus: Mandatory vaccinations for high-risk workplaces – worth a shot?

As the government and some employers consider compulsory Covid-19 jabs for certain workers, Lisa Rix examines the risks and benefits of such an approach Instructing staff to get the vaccine undoubtedly has the reasonable aim of seeking to ensure a Covid-free and safe workplace. However, this may not be a reasonable or lawful instruction if …
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Annual leave: Holiday pay and carry over – latest cases and the impact of the pandemic

Despite a welcome ruling in the long-running Pimlico Plumbers case, avoiding breaches of the law on annual leave remains fraught with difficulty, warn Nick Hine and Ben Payne Many furloughed or other employees have accrued a large amount of holiday which they have not been able to take or wanted to take during the pandemic. …
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Litigation: Covid-19 related claims and how to avoid them

Samantha Mackie and Kim Pattullo explain how to reduce the risk of employment tribunal claims arising from the pandemic and resulting economic downturn For employers looking to implement redundancy exercises, it is important that they take the time to ensure their processes are legally compliant. The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly had a profound impact on …
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Coronavirus: Ruling on driver’s face mask objection reveals the road to a fair dismissal

David Jepps examines the first reported employment tribunal decision on whether a dismissal for refusing to wear a face mask was fair Kubilius underlines that employers are at liberty to make their own rules, within reason, and a breach of such rules entitles them to take disciplinary action. Employers and their advisers have been facing …
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Furlough: CJRS scheme extended again – current issues and priorities for employers

Lucy Lewis and Richard Moore discuss the implications of the decision to extend the furlough scheme to the end of September 2021, with employer contributions gradually increasing from July As lockdown restrictions ease, we can expect to see new debates about how the furlough scheme interacts with arrangements for schools and with the roll-out of …
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Coronavirus: Is long Covid a new form of disability?

Michelle Chance, Chris Warwick-Evans and Louisa Hartley discuss how to reduce the risk of successful discrimination claims from employees with ongoing or intermittent Covid-19 symptoms We can expect to see far more clinical diagnoses of long Covid and related employment tribunal claims in the future. A study conducted by researchers at King’s College London estimates …
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Covid-19: Can employers force staff to have the vaccine?

Following the news that Pimlico Plumbers is planning ‘no jab, no job’ contracts for staff, Victoria von Wachter considers whether employers can insist that employees have the Covid vaccine Although the government is not compelling anyone to have the Covid jab, certain employers may feel strongly enough to require their employees to be vaccinated. Since …
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