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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Coronavirus: Protecting employees’ mental health in the Covid workplace

With the UK braced for a second wave of the pandemic, Kathy Halliday investigates the steps employers should be taking to support employees’ mental wellbeing in these difficult times Following the nationwide lockdown in March this year, a rise in mental health issues stemming from increased feelings of isolation was widely reported. As we head …
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Coronavirus: Notice pay during furlough: what’s allowed?

Colin Leckey and David Hopper examine the uncertain position on employers’ ability to serve notice on employees during furlough and the rules on calculating notice pay ‘Unlike similar schemes in other countries, the CJRS has never included a condition that employees for whom a furlough grant was claimed cannot subsequently be made redundant.’ The complexities …
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Coronavirus: Consulting with furloughed employees about redundancies and changing terms

Colin Leckey and David Hopper explore the challenges of consulting remotely and holding remote elections for employee representatives when staff are on furlough or working from home ‘Carrying out information and consultation obligations remotely has generally been regarded as permissible before the coronavirus pandemic and it is unlikely to be regarded as a problem in …
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Coronavirus: Complying with business immigration law during the Covid-19 pandemic

Joanna Hunt looks at the impact on employers of recent government changes to immigration policy in response to the UK lockdown and worldwide travel restrictions ‘One of the lasting legacies of Covid-19 may be its influence on how the immigration system assesses who should be allowed to come to the UK for work. This crisis …
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Coronavirus: High Court issues welcome rulings on furloughing staff in insolvent companies

Recent cases involving Carluccio’s and Debenhams confirm the availability of the government-funded furlough scheme to companies in administration and their employees, report Ed Husband and Ambuja Bose ‘Administrators can use the time and breathing space afforded by the furlough scheme to explore the various rescue options available for a distressed business.’ The financial impact of …
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