The Queen’s Speech 2022 and the omission of reference to the Employment Bill
Yesterday the 2022 Queen’s speech was delivered by Prince Charles, standing in for the Queen (who was unable to attend the state opening of parliament for the first time since 1963 due to mobility issues). As always, the Speech covered a number of areas in respect of which the Government is proposing to introduce new […]Read more
New guidance on living with COVID-19 in the workplace
On 1 April 2022, the UK Government issued new guidance relating to COVID-19, aimed at employers and those managing a workplace. This follows the Government’s ‘Living with COVID-19’ plan issued in February 2022 and coincides with the new rules regarding lateral flow testing in the UK. The new guidance is aimed at helping to reduce […]Read more
Consequences of the sanctions imposed on Russia
As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UK, along with the US, EU, Canada, Switzerland and others, has responded by imposing far reaching sanctions on Russia. Some of the key sanctions are: The Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the Russian National Wealth Fund, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian […]Read more
Mandatory Vaccination update
Currently, only workers in Care Quality Commission regulated care homes are subject to mandatory vaccination, with the remaining workers in the health and social care sector as a whole joining them from 1 April 2022. However, the Government has now amended its position on mandatory vaccination after considering the increased vaccination numbers and the reduced […]Read more
Is asking a pregnant woman about her future plans discrimination?
A pregnant woman has succeeded in persuading an Employment Tribunal (ET) that she was discriminated against when a senior manager asked what her plans were whilst nodding towards her stomach. Ms Duffy was a PA at Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust in North London. In 2019 she was told the Trust would […]Read more
Mandatory Vaccination for front-line healthcare workers
On 14 December 2021, Parliament approved draft regulations (the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) (No. 2) Regulations 2022) making it compulsory for all front-line workers providing services regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to have had a full course of an authorised COVID-19 vaccine. This follows similar regulations enacted […]Read more
Sick pay cut for unvaccinated employees
In December 2021, the Government amended the self-isolation rules to the effect that a person who is identified as a ‘close contact’ of somebody who has tested positive with COVID-19 does not have to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated. However, the rules did not change for those who are not fully vaccinated (who still […]Read more
Government reimplements SSP Rebate scheme for SMEs
In response to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 currently proliferating across the nation, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced the revival of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate scheme, which came to an end on 30 September 2021. Usually, the cost of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) (currently £96.35 per week), is covered by […]Read more
Can employees refuse to attend work because they fear they will catch Covid-19?
Last year, a woman (who remains anonymous) brought an Employment Tribunal (ET) claim for discrimination on the grounds of philosophical belief against her employer. This was in response to the employer withholding her wages when she refused to return to work in July because she feared she would catch COVID-19 and pass it to her […]Read more
Sickness Self-Certification Period Extended for Employees
Last week, in response to what he described as an “Omicron Emergency”, the Prime Minister announced a substantial increase to the Covid-19 booster programme target, which now aims to offer a booster to all eligible adults by the end of the year. In an attempt to achieve this ambitious objective, GPs’ surgeries have once again […]Read more
Salary deductions which reduce pay below the National Minimum Wage
Employers usually reserve the contractual right to deduct sums from their employees’ wages in circumstances where a deduction from salary is necessary. Examples of necessary deductions include those for employee pension contributions, in relation to salary sacrifice schemes (e.g. cars, childcare etc), in respect of overpayments and for tools and uniforms that are not provided […]Read more
Time for Covid Plan B!
With the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, spreading throughout the UK, Boris Johnson has decided that now is the time to move to ‘Plan B’ to try and slow the infection rate in the hope that NHS will not become overwhelmed at its busiest time of the year. The new restrictions announced are as follows: From […]Read more