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The new immigration rules: deadlines you need to know

Alexandra Dean
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The UK’s new immigration system will come into effect on 1st January 2021 and will apply to both EU citizens and non-EU citizens. This means that citizens of EU member states (with the exception of Ireland) who want to move to the UK on or after 1st...

Can My Employer Force Me to go Back to Work?

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The Government says that now is the right time to go back to work. Amid concerns that the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has turned our city centres into ‘ghost towns’, businesses are being encouraged to reopen their...

Redundancy, the right way. An Employer's Guide.

Jemma Bennett
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As we head into a second lockdown, we know the substantial financial impact this will have on businesses and, the retention of their staff.  Whilst the Government has extended the Job Retention Scheme for a further month, they have confirmed that this...

How can a business avoid the top three most common mistakes in a redundancy process?

Alexandra Dean
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Here at Gepp, we appreciate that sometimes businesses have to make the tough decisions of making redundancies in the workplace in order to save costs. We know that it is not easy and we did write about some of the ways that the business is affected by more...

Illegal workers: What to do about Civil penalties from the Home Office

Alexandra Dean
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If you are an employer concerned about illegal workers in your business, you are not alone. Many employers fall foul of the UK immigration rules each year, causing difficulties for their business, not least because of the fine that you might face and indeed...

Hairdresser wins an Employment Tribunal case determining that she is a worker and not self-employed

Alexandra Dean
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Meghan Gorman from Lancashire worked as a hairdresser for 6 years for Terence Paul, a Manchester City Centre salon that closed in 2019. During her employment, Meghan was under a contract that deemed her self-employed and not employed by the salon. This...

How can a business avoid the top three most common mistakes in a redundancy process?

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Here at Gepp, we appreciate that sometimes businesses have to make the tough decisions of making redundancies in the workplace in order to save costs. We know that it is not easy and we did write about some of the ways that the business is affected ...

New Job Support Scheme announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak

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As we suspected, the Furlough scheme will not be extended and will be coming to an end on 31 October 2020. There is still enough uncertainty around which means that we do not have a clear idea of what the landscape will look like for companies and...

More female applicants respond to changed job adverts

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Last month, Thames Water have admitted on Twitter that they have seen a surge of applications from female candidates to their jobs from 8% to a massive 46% of applicants for a new role advertised. How? They attributed it to removing 'masculine' words...

Can Employment Tribunal Fees be re-introduced?

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It is now a well-known fact that the Employment Tribunal fees were abolished in 2017 after a challenge run by the Trade Union, Unison, reached the Court of Appeal which determined that the 2013 scheme was unlawful. As a result, the Ministry of Justice had to...

Tips for companies to avoid accidental 'furlough fraud'

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We wrote previously about the increased powers that HMRC are expected to have in investigating and going after any company who is found to have misused the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the "Scheme") and this can be found  HERE ...

Can your boss spy on you whilst you are working from home?

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Now that we have all settled in quite comfortably to working from home (whether we have embraced the pyjamas, latest loungewear or seeking some normalcy with smart-casual attire), the question arises as to how employers can continue to monitor the...

Can my employer let other colleagues know about my redundancy before I know?

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Let's put this one really simply - you are allowed to feel aggrieved if your employer has told some of your colleagues that you are being made redundant before you have officially found out about it. No one can tell you otherwise on that. ...

Will The Furlough Scheme be extended - unlikely

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Furlough Scheme extension appears unlikely as the new Kickstart Scheme comes into effect As of 1 September 2020, the Government's Kickstart Scheme has come into play. Under the Kickstart Scheme, employers will receive grants of £1,500 to provide...

Another Win Against Discrimination: Asian Royal Mail Employee Wins Race Discrimination Claim

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Recently, Mr Rizwan Shah, succeeded in a race discrimination claim against his employer - Royal Mail - and received a compensation payment of £30,000. Race Discrimination has been very clearly against the law since the Race Relations Act 1965, which...

(Almost) Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Settlement Agreements

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Settlement Agreements may sound a little bit like an ambiguous idea that no one really understands. At the same time, it is another word that is making itself comfortable in our daily vocabulary like redundancy, especially because the two seem to be...

Furlough and Maternity / Paternity Leave

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The deadline for placing employees on furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ("Furlough Scheme") has long passed. As of 10 June 2020 and we are all familiar with the Furlough Scheme and indeed the changes that are regularly taking...

High Time for Employment Services - ACAS Services received calls at up to THREE times their usual rate

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We are under no illusion that the current climate is difficult for everyone - individuals and businesses are facing a very uncertain future as they try to muddle their way through and ideally come out of the Coronavirus crisis and unavoidable recession as...

Will The Furlough Scheme Be Extended Again?

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The furlough scheme, or as it is formally known - the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, is currently set to continue until 31 October 2020. We provided some information about it  here . However, looking elsewhere in Europe, is it possible that the...

Let's Talk About How Redundancy Affects Businesses

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We wrote at length about the burning questions relating to redundancy that employees have when facing the process and how they can handle it . At the same time, we know that companies want to undertake the processes in the easiest and simplest way possible...

EAT Determines: Reasonable Adjustments Made by Employers Can Include An Undertaking And Refer to Potential Compensation

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In a recent decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT"), it was determined that a reasonable adjustment under Section 20 of the Equality Act 2020 could include an undertaking by an employer to an employee of a certain condition and,...

Will The Novelty Of Home-Working Well And Truly Wear Off?

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There is no doubt that the current pandemic has forced the world to move forward with flexible and remote working, a conversation that has been in the works for a while and has been moved up a few notches due to the situation where employees have simply had...

Redundancy During Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions

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Redundancy is a word that is making itself comfortable in everyone's lexicon. Recent data from the Office of National Statistics ("ONS") has recently revealed that 730,000 workers have lost their jobs during lockdown - meaning between March...

How Hot Is Too Hot?

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The last time things got a little too hot, many of us were in the height of lockdown so sitting in the garden was the reprieve. We are now seeing another heatwave here in the UK and The Met Office has even confirmed that yesterday London saw temperatures...

Ministry of Defence set to take positive steps to tackle Discrimination

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We are of the view that the tide is finally beginning to turn on discrimination in the workplace and more companies are taking positive steps to eradicate it from the outset. We wrote here about the steps that employers can take, as a starting point...

Companies Perform Better with more Female Executives

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New research conducted by The Pipeline (Diversity and Inclusion specialists), into London based companies, shows that companies with at least one third of their bosses being female are more profitable in that their profit margin at least 10 times greater...

New Government Consultation calls for more information about Workplace support for victims of Domestic Violence

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The government has launched a review into the support available in the workplace, currently, for employees that suffer from domestic violence . The consultation seeks evidence and information onto what is available for employees nowadays and what...

Eat Out To Help Out In Chelmsford

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In an attempt to kick start the hospitality sector, the Chancellor’s ‘ Eat Out To Help Out ’ scheme has come into effect today. With a workforce of around 3.2 million and an annual turnover of £130bn, the hospitality industry is...

Furloughed Employees Facing Redundancy Will Be Looked After

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As of Friday 31 July 2020, a new law will be enforced whereby any employee that is facing redundancy following a period of furlough, will be entitled to statutory redundancy pay on the basis of their pre-furlough salary and not the furloughed amount. ...

Race Discrimination Still Has No Place In The Workplace!

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The Black Lives Matters movement continues to rightfully garner support worldwide, and it is important to realise that the issues of discrimination are still, unfortunately, alive and well within the workplace and must be eradicated. Recently,...

Holidaymakers Returning From Spain May Not Be Paid For Their Quarantine

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This past week the Government announced that Spain is no longer included in the "air bridges" list and for the 600,000 British holidaymakers who were in Spain at that time it means that they now have to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to...

British Gas Are Changing Their Employees' Contract Terms

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Centrica, the company that owns British Gas, has announced that they will be undergoing a consultation with their workforce with a view of changing the terms and conditions of employment for all of their employees. The company has explained that they are...

Bonuses announced to avoid mass unemployment

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced recently a new scheme worth £2billion that will seek to prevent the impending mass unemployment as the UK economy is hit by the Coronavirus crisis. In particular, the focus is on the young people as it is estimated...

So, We Did An Instagram Live...

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On Wednesday 8 July, I represented Gepp in taking on a new challenge - I joined the wonderful Carla Davison of Basking Babies UK and did an Instagram live Q&A session about all things that affect new parents and in particular new mums.   We had...

Neither Better Nor Worse - How TUPE Protects When Employees Transfer

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The directors of a property management company ran into a brick wall when they tried to boost their own benefits package before transferring to a new employer under the TUPE regulations.  TUPE – which stands for the Transfer of...

Companies need to get it right to protect against competition

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Companies looking to protect their business by relying on non-compete clauses for key employees should check that any post-termination restrictions are reasonable. When an employee leaves and there is a threat of commercially sensitive information about...

What If My Employer Broke The Furlough Rules?

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It has been found that the system of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme) which was meant to support businesses during these difficult times has been very open to abuse by employers and businesses . A survey found that more than a third of the...

HMRC Will Have More Powers to Reclaim Falsely Claimed Furlough Payments

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It has now been announced that, next week Chancellor Rishi Sunak will add new legislation to allow HMRC greater powers to go after those that disobeyed the rules of the Scheme - namely those that forced staff to continue working, even just in part, whilst...

Bentley is cutting a QUARTER of its UK Workforce: But was it announced before employees were told?

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Last week, Joel Hills of ITV tweeted that Bentley Motors were planning to lay off up to 1,000 employees and that the company will make the "Announcement tomorrow". Very soon after, Hills was inundated with questions about the source of his...

Can Employees Be Dismissed Over Zoom?

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With remote working now becoming the norm, most of our work meetings and conversations have become this strange mix of faces on our computer screens. This is as close as we can get to the formality of having face to face meetings during the current global...

The Importance of Employees' Trust in People's Processes and Functions

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Recent research conducted by Zenbusiness showed that more than half of employees do not have faith in the people function of the business which can have a detrimental effect on morale and productivity across the board. Here at Gepps, we always encourage our...

Gordon Ramsay in the midst of Furlough Questions

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By now, we are all aware of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ("CJRS") and what it means for businesses and employees. Last week, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, confirmed that whilst the Furlough Scheme will be extended until October...

Updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ("CJRS")

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced last week that the CJRS has been extended until 31 October 2020 but has advised that there will be some changes to the way the scheme currently works as he will be looking for more of the responsibility to shift back to...

Furlough Scheme EXTENDED: But The Penalties For Abusing It Are Still Very Real

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Employers will be aware that the government has announced the extension of the furlough scheme for a further four months. This means that it is now extended to October and Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed that its purpose is to continue to pay employees...

Delayed, But Not Cancelled: Company Responsibilities During Lockdown

Alexandra Dean
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Company directors will be focused on the bottom line and corporate governance as they continue to navigate their way through the pandemic lockdown and the Government’s route map towards business as usual.  Many will be worried at the risk of...

Employment Tribunal decides - telling a woman she "has balls" is not sexist

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Recently, the Employment Tribunal at London Central determined that the Claimant, Rachel Power, was not discriminated against or victimised by the CEO of Secure Code Warrior Ltd of Northampton despite telling her that she "has balls". In 2018, Ms...

Why are we losing motivation during lockdown, and what can we do about it?

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It seems that many people are losing motivation as some of us are entering into weeks 6 and 7 of remote working. The novelty may have started to wear off and our excitement at the prospect of cutting the commute short has long since dwindled. The question...

Vicarious Liability Landscape Has Some Further Guidance

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A recent Supreme Court decision in the case of Barclays Bank plc v Various Claimants held that the bank was not vicariously liable for the acts of an independent, self-employed doctor that was contracted to undertake the medical...

Some Things to Consider before Abusing the Furlough Scheme...

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There are been some reports that there are companies that are abusing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ("CJRS") in that they are requiring their employees to work despite placing them on furlough and claiming their wages from the G overnment. ...

British Airways Announces up to 12,000 jobs 'AT RISK' of Redundancy

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British Airways Announces up to 12,000 jobs 'AT RISK' of redundancy British Airways is yet another company that has become adversely affected by the current Covid-19 pandemic. The airline has announced this week that it would have to make up to...

Employees could be urged to support UK farmers during furlough

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It has been noted by George Eustice, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that Furloughed employees could be encouraged to fill the labour shortage that the farmers are encountering. It appears that due to the pandemic, only...

It's True, We All Miss The Office

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With the current lockdown in the UK, we are seeing a lot of employees working from home. The influx in this flexible working has proven invaluable in showing businesses and employees alike that remote working and flexible working is a possibility. We...

Working Options During Furlough Period

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Many employees have now faced the reality of being placed on furlough by their employers under the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ("CJRS") and a vast majority have been looking for options to fill their time and also top up their...

More employees will now benefit from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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More employees will now benefit from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme The Government continues to update the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ("CJRS") as things continue to unfold nationwide. The CJRS currently supports businesses and...

High Court Rules That Administrators Can Place Employees on Furlough

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The High Court has held that administrators can furlough employees and pay them under the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). On 16 March 2020, Carluccio's restaurant chain has closed its doors in line with the Government's...

What do your Terms and Conditions say about your business?

Alexandra Dean
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What do your Terms and Conditions say about your business? Unfortunately, the current climate has proven that many companies do not have terms and conditions that completely protect them and / or the business needs and that has caused some difficulties all...

The Government's Plan To Save Jobs Will Cost £40bn

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The Government's Plan to save jobs will likely cost up to £40 billion. The announced Job Retention Scheme has been a welcome reprieve to many employers and employees as many have been able to avoid redundancies in their midst as they place a...

Self-Certification for Self-Isolation

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The current pandemic has, inevitably, put a lot of pressure on GP surgeries but, at the same time, has brought along quite a few changes in the systems that we have all come to know for sickness and absence process in the workplace. To date, employees have...

Pregnancy, Coronavirus, Social Distancing and Working from Home

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There is a lot of uncertainty at this time around the workplace and pregnant women have been concluded to fall within the High Risk category group which means that most employers have asked their pregnant employees to work from home for at least the next 12...

Can I Still Work During The Lockdown?

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On Monday 23 March 2020, the Government has announced that we should all stay at home at all times except for going to medical appointments, buying supplies, undertaking one form of exercise per day, or those that have to travel to and from work, if...

Countdown To Contract Changes For Employers

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Employers are on countdown for new requirements on employment contracts.  From April, the statutory requirements around statements of particulars are changing and being extended to include all workers, not just employees.  It means that anyone...

NDAs Should Not Be Used To Silence Sexual Harassment Claims

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NDAs are, literally, Non-Disclosure Agreements. They are very frequently used in business or employment to ensure that a party (or both parties) does not make certain information about the employer / business public. This could be because it is a company...

Storm Ciara - What Happens With My Work?

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"What happens if I can't get to work during Storm Ciara?" It looks as though the UK is currently being hit by quite a storm, and this happens every once in a while in our English weather. But, how does this affect your work schedule and...

IKEA To Close Coventry Store: Redundancies Are Coming

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Ikea has announced that this Summer 2020 it will be closing one of its large stores in Coventry which means that there are currently 352 members of staff that are at risk of redundancy and are undergoing consultation. The closure has been announced as a...

Social Media Comments Result In Alastair Stewart's Resignation

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Alastair Stewart, the ITV News presenter has announced this week his resignation from ITV following a "… misjudgement which [he] regret[s] …" as he said in his statement. Many are disappointed to see the presenter leave, as he had...

Employer Offers Extra Annual Leave to Non-Smoking Employees

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KCJ Training and Employment Solutions in Swindon has decided to compensate its employees that do not smoke with 4 additional leave days' per annum. This is based on a rough estimation that if a smoker takes just one smoking break a day, at 10 minutes a...

Company Christmas Parties: How To Avoid Issues

Alexandra Dean
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Avoiding a cracker of a hangover from the company Christmas party... As the clock ticks down to Christmas party time, companies need to avoid the event becoming the wrong sort of cracker.  Any company-organised office party, whether in or out of...

Asda To Be Sued Over New Employment Contracts... But Can Your Employer Change Yours?

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Can your employer change your work contract? Our team answer your questions... Duncan Carson was an Asda employee who worked from 6am to midday as a baker in one of the chain's stores. Those times suited him as he was used to working mornings and he had...

Holiday Pay Ruling Hits Schools and Colleges

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Holiday pay for those who work only part of the year and have no contractually set hours should not be calculated on a pro rata basis, under a judgement that will affect many in the education sector.  The Court of Appeal has ruled in  The Harper...

Restaurants Are Being BANNED From Taking Tips

Alexandra Dean
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Reaching tipping point on gratuities... Restaurateurs and other hospitality sector businesses should not bank on Brexit delaying the Government’s plans for legislation designed to deal with tipping protocols.  In December last year the...

So, Your Employer Wants To Take Money From Your Wages - Can They Do That?

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Our employment team tackle the tricky subject... Recently, the issue of deduction from wages of employees has come to the forefront again as Costa employees in Essex have complained that a sum of £200 was deducted from their final payslip to cover...

Childcare During The Holidays: Bring Your Kid To Work Day?

Alexandra Dean
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Bring your kid to work day...? If you work full time in the UK, you are entitled to at least 28 days of paid annual leave, including the eight bank holidays. However, for parents of school-age children, the numbers don’t quite add up. First of...

UNISON Case Confirms Minimum Annual Leave For All Workers

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The recent case of Harpur Trust v Brazel & UNISON heard at the Court of Appeal clarified the legal position regarding the minimum annual leave entitlement for all workers. Currently, full time employees are entitled to 28 days' paid annual leave...

Supermarket Giant Tesco to Shed 4,500 Staff

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Supermarket giant Tesco to shed 4,500 staff Out of a total workforce of 340,000, the UK's largest grocer has reported that, in order to run their business more sustainably, they will be looking to make around 4,500 members of staff redundant from...

Can You Ban Your Staff From Drinking During Work Hours?

Gemma Barker
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Gone are the days of liquid pub lunches and business meetings over a pint. A growing trend sees big insurance firms banning their employees from drinking during working hours. Lloyds and the London Metal Exchange are amongst those firms which are putting...

A Rocky Road to Freedom of Expression

Alexandra Dean
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Two recent tribunal claims highlight the challenge for employers in safely navigating personal expression by employees in the workplace.   A hospital nurse who discussed her Christian views with patients, offering a bible to one and advising...

LGBTQ+ Rights At Work

Alexandra Dean
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June is Pride month, when the LGBTQ+ community celebrates with a series of events. It’s a joyful and fun time, but it’s also a protest - there are still battles to be fought, especially when it comes to discrimination in the workplace. Nobody...

Working Longer, For Less: The Change In Pension Ages

Alexandra Dean
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Working longer, for less... Not only are we all working longer hours, but we’re also staying in work for longer too. The pension age has just risen yet again, and this time women are taking the hit as the state pension age raises from 60 to 66 in...

When Does Hugging Become Unacceptable Behaviour?

Alexandra Dean
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Physical contact in the workplace is a very high-profile topic among bosses, workers, and HR departments at the moment. On the back of two very public controversies, where men in positions of power got a little bit too ‘touchy-feely’ with their...

International Women's Day 2019

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March 8th 2019 is International Women's Day . This year, the campaign theme is #BalanceForBetter, following 2018's #PressForProgress. International Women's Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century and the day is an opportunity to...

'The only way is Chelmsford'

Spencer Davis
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Having been in Chelmsford looking after our clients for over 250 years we always knew it’s the place to be, both to live and to work. In last week’s Sunday Times in an article entitled ‘Going Places’ , Chelmsford was described as...

Minimum Wage Rates Due to Increase

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The National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates are expected to increase as of April 2019. Why does it matter? The National Living Wage (applicable for workers aged 25 and over) will increase by 4.9% from £7.83 to £8.21 with effect from 1 April 2019. NMW...

New laws in force relating to itemised payslips

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From 6 April 2019, the Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) (No 2) Order 2018 and Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018 will come into force and introduce specific requirements in relation to...

Equality takes centre stage for employers

Alexandra Dean
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The #TimesUp campaign has captured headlines with its push for greater diversity and equality in Hollywood and the entertainment sector, but these shifting attitudes are mirrored in legislative changes in the UK which will affect employers in the coming...

The cost of getting too close for comfort

Alexandra Dean
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Profits have taken a tumble at fashion retailer Ted Baker after staff made allegations of inappropriate behaviour against founder Ray Kelvin, who has now taken a voluntary leave of absence while investigations take place.  The news follows hard on the...

An early Christmas present for UK workers

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The UK Government published its "Good Work Plan". While the changes it sets out are not insignificant, it is worth noting that it does not contain clear proposals on the most controversial recommendations made earlier this year: There is...

Self-employed or worker?

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The latest developments in the gig economy row The number of companies being held to account by their employees/contract workers is growing. First, Deliveroo and Uber were put through the legal mill and their workers gained a slew of rights and...

Emergency worker assault

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Are the NHS, the Fire Service and the Police doing all they can to protect first responders? It seems inconceivable to most of us that anyone would wantonly attack, injure or in any other way assault a nurse, fire officer or police officer. Yet every day...

Employer NICs on termination payments delayed again

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The government's plan to make termination payments in excess of £30,000 subject to employer national insurance contributions (NICs) has been delayed for a second time and will now take effect from April 2020. The government has recently made...

New Parental Bereavement Leave for Employees

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The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 is due to come into effect in 2020. The new legislation gives employees who lose a child under the age of 18 or a stillborn from 24 weeks of pregnancy, a day one right to two weeks leave. Subject to...

What is a settlement agreement?

Alexandra Dean
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Employment disputes can be expensive and time-consuming to resolve, causing a lot of stress and hassle to both employers and employees if they are not handled correctly. However, in many cases, employment disputes can be resolved quickly in a way that works...

When do you have to postpone a disciplinary hearing?

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The law All employees are entitled to be accompanied by a trade union official or a colleague at any disciplinary or grievance hearing. You do not have to recognise a union and your employee doesn't need to be a member of it either. You also do...

Constructive Dismissal: a guide

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If you think you’re the victim of constructive dismissal, then you’re in the right place. We’ve put together a guide to tell you exactly what constructive dismissal is, and how you can deal with the consequences of what can be a very...

Getting sacked is no laughing matter...

Alexandra Dean
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Liverpudlian comedian Adam Rowe won the recent ‘Dave’s funniest joke of the fringe’ at the Edinburgh Festival with… "Working at the Jobcentre has to be a tense job - knowing that if you get fired, you still have to come in the...

Can you be dismissed when coming up to your two years' service?

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Background Under UK employment law, the two year service requirement is a key milestone in an employment relationship. With some well-known exceptions, known as “automatic unfair dismissal”, it is only at this point that employees can bring...

Maternity leave - your rights

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Maternity leave is an important period for all working mums. It gives women an opportunity to prepare for the birth, then bond with and care for the child during the first days, weeks, and months of its life. Here, we take a look at what rights you have when...

Will a criminal conviction affect my employability?

Alexandra Dean
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If you have received a criminal conviction or caution in the past, you may be concerned about your future career prospects. You may be concerned as to whether employers have the right to retract a job offer if they find out about your past conviction or...

Working temperatures - when is it too hot to work?

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The summer of 2018 is already being compared with the long, hot scorcher of 1976. Records have been broken across the UK, the words ‘hose-pipe ban’ are being whispered, and we’re all suffering from sleep deprivation due to night-time...

Vicarious Liability

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In a case against Barclays Bank PLC brought by 126 Claimants (who were either applicants for employment or employees of the Bank) it was alleged that they had been sexually assaulted by a doctor who was carrying out a medical assessment and examination on...

Pass me the invisible ink James...

Alexandra Dean
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Mention spies and you may think of James Bond scaling a building in the dead of night, but when it comes to commercial espionage it’s more likely to be Jim in product development, who has a new job with a competitor, or a cyber specialist sitting a...