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Coronavirus Updates

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Can the Furlough Scheme be used for employees who need to self-isolate?

The answer is ‘yes’ according to leaked emails obtained by BBC News from senior civil servants. These e-mails seem to indicate that furlough has always been available to employers with employees who needed to self-isolate. The guidance published by the government specifically states that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Scheme) is not intended for short-term […]

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Can an employer ask an employee about their vaccination status?

There has been a great deal of talk in the press recently about the legality of ‘no jab, no job’ recruitment. However, less attention has been paid to another issue, about which, employers could be forgiven for being confused. Namely, what can and cannot employers ask employees about their vaccination status? Pre-employment It’s not absolutely […]

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Changes to the Furlough Scheme

From 1 July 2021, the amount the Government contributes towards unworked hours for workers under the Furlough Scheme has changed. Between 1 November 2020 and 30 June 2021, the Government contributed 80% for unworked hours (up to a maximum of £2,500 per month). From 1 July 2021, the Government’s contribution reduced from 80% to 70% […]

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COVID-19 vaccine to become mandatory for care workers?

Matt Hancock, Minister for Health and Social Care, has announced that all adult social care staff working in care homes will be required to take the COVID-19 vaccine or face potential redeployment or dismissal. The regulations, which are yet to be approved by Parliament, will give care workers a 16-week window to get both jabs. […]

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Summer 2021: Holidays, quarantine, and the workplace

On 17 May 2021, restrictions were eased across England. Pubs and restaurants can now serve customers inside (subject to the rule of six), cinemas and museums have re-opened, and the government announced that holidays abroad would now be permitted to certain countries. With many Brits keen to escape the vagaries of the British weather, this […]

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New guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable

This week, the Government issued new guidance for those who have been shielding because they are categorised as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV). The advice to those who were told to shield was relaxed last summer. However, as a result of the number of cases rising dramatically in January 2021, the guidance for the CEV was […]

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Testing and vaccinating employees – ACAS Guidance

ACAS has recently published new guidance for employers concerning COVID-19. This contains advice as to the ways in which employers can both support their workforce to get tested regularly for COVID-19 and encourage them to take up the offer of a vaccination from the NHS. The guidance can be found at: Testing staff for coronavirus. […]

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Budget 2021 – Emerging from Lockdown 3

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak today set out the Government’s spring Budget 2021 as the country looks to emerge from its third national lockdown and recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Budget focusses heavily on restarting the economy and provides a significant boost for businesses and workers struggling as a result […]

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The ‘statutory defence’ against discrimination claims

When defending a discrimination claim in the employment tribunal (ET), it is common for employers to rely on what is known as the ‘statutory defence’. Section 109(4) of the Equality Act 2010 (EQA) provides a defence for employers facing a claim for unlawful discrimination in the ET. This only applies where the employer is able […]

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Is long COVID a disability?

For some people, COVID-19 can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is called post-COVID-19 syndrome or, more commonly, ‘long COVID’. Little is known about long COVID at the moment, but with increasing numbers of people suffering from this condition, we are becoming more aware of how it manifests. […]

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