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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Covid-19: Governments advise, employers decide – can they require employees to be vaccinated?

Sean Nesbitt weighs up the case for mandatory vaccination as a condition of returning to the workplace Any decision to require vaccination (apart from when exceptions apply) should be part of a wider risk assessment that includes the other measures the employer is putting in place to protect employees. The pandemic continues to have a …
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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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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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Health and safety: High Court rules UK failed to implement EU protections for limb (b) workers

Lee Harding and William Mallin explore the recent ruling that workers should be able to bring health and safety detriment claims and should be entitled to personal protective equipment (PPE) The High Court’s judgment fits squarely within the recent trend of courts extending legislation to confer protection on limb (b) workers. Employers that have adopted …
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Health and safety: Covid-19 and serious and imminent danger – a new dawn in employee litigation?

Lee Harding and William Mallin examine the extent of employees’ right to refuse to return to work because of the threat posed by the coronavirus ‘An employee’s belief that they should not be exposed to any danger whatsoever will clearly not be reasonable. Tribunals do not expect employers to eradicate risk, only to reduce the …
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Health and safety: Returning to work after lockdown could lead to upsurge in tribunal claims

Nabila Chikhi and Emilie Cole consider the risk of employment claims on health and safety grounds from employees who are reluctant to return to work due to Covid-19 ‘The central question will be when it is reasonable for employees to believe that Covid-19 poses an “imminent” danger. As long as the pandemic persists, there will …
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