Covid-19: How to manage anxious returners following recent EAT ruling

Brigitte Weaver considers the lessons for employers from the first appellate-level decision on whether it was automatically unfair to dismiss an employee for refusing to work due to concerns about Covid-19 It is not enough that an employee has genuine concerns about the pandemic and the risks to their family’s health in general. The employee …
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Legal news: Employment update

Jo Broadbent rounds up recent developments affecting employers and their advisers The presidents of the employment tribunals expect greater use of in-person hearings in cases that involve detailed or contested evidence, such as complex preliminary points and final hearings of short-track claims. Guidance on reducing the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace On 1 April, …
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Covid-19: Has the serious and imminent danger from the pandemic passed?

David Jepps considers the implications for employers of the scrapping of self-isolation rules and free Covid testing The way forward for many employers will be to strike a balance between discouraging the spread of Covid in the workplace and efficiently running a business. On 24 February 2022, all self-isolation requirements in England ended. In announcing …
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Coronavirus: Living with Covid – the implications for employers

Richard Fox considers how employers might respond to the end of the isolation rules Many may now consider the safest course is to redraft their sickness policies, or even introduce specific new ‘infection policies’. The government made its long-awaited Freedom Day announcement on Monday 21 February 2022 and later the same day the Cabinet Office …
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Religion or belief discrimination: Recent Covid-19 decisions and employment rights for anti-vaxxers

Sacha Sokhi explores two decisions which help to shed light on whether dismissals for refusing to be vaccinated or to attend the workplace due to Covid fears will be religion or belief discrimination Whether an employee claims belief discrimination, religious discrimination or breach of their human rights, the first-tier tribunals have made it clear that …
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Financial provision: Exploring the options

Ellie Foster considers a decision of Mostyn J on set aside and transparency in financial remedy proceedings In assessing unforeseeability in the context of a change of asset value, the court should focus on the economic impact of the event rather than its cause or nature. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020 …
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Covid-19: What next after Plan B?

James Morrison looks at the issues facing employers following the lifting of Plan B restrictions and considers the risks involved in cutting sick pay for unvaccinated staff Employers may be able to show that disciplinary action for refusing to get vaccinated is reasonable or that the policy was objectively justified. However, in all cases, employers …
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Commercial rent arrears: Recovery in the time of Covid-19

Tom Dobson and Graham Anderson assess the new Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill and its efficacy The key function of the Bill is to prevent further debt actions and to bring all efforts to resolve rent arrears within the scope of the new Code or the arbitration process. The government has now announced, in the form …
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Coronavirus: Recent Covid cases – lessons for employers

Ed Livingstone and Grace Waterhouse report on two recent employment tribunal cases arising from the pandemic and examine the lessons for employers It seems inevitable that, as in Montanaro, tribunals will consider Covid-19 to present circumstances of danger under the Employment Rights Act. This means that employees are likely to be protected from dismissal if …
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Health and safety: Strategies for a safe return to the office

Following the lifting of the requirement to work from home, Emma Williams discusses the pros and cons of different policies for returning to the workplace Gauging opinion by way of an employee survey ahead of any return will help employers to understand the state of employee morale and to develop an initial plan. On 19 …
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