News & Events

Employment during Covid-19

Hearings by electronic communication – updated to reflect the changes made on 8 October 2020 to the 2013 ET Rules

What can be achieved via electronic means within the 2013 Employment Tribunal Rules? Andrew Allen QC has updated his earlier article to reflect the changes to the 2013 ET Rules made on 8 October 2020? Hearings by electronic means Following the changes to the 2013 ET Rules made on 8 October 2020, Andrew Allen QC has updated his article analysing the practical issues faced by Employment Judges in considering, within the parameters of the 2013 ET Rules, whether to list hearings that are to be conducted by electronic communication. You can view the article here. Find out more These extraordinary circumstances bring new perspectives on employment law and the existing rules. Please contact Nick Levett on 020 74274905 or Adam Macdonald on 020 7353 6381…

Covid-19, Legal Blog & Publications, Employment during Covid-19, News 9 Oct, 2020

Daniel Barnett hosts Q&A with the President of Employment Tribunals

Daniel Barnett recently chaired a Q&A webinar with the recently appointed President of Employment Tribunals, Judge Clarke. Just three weeks into his new role as President of Employment Tribunals in England & Wales, Judge Barry Clarke, explained how tribunals are managing during lockdown and answered a range of questions from lawyers, employers and unions. Questions and topics included: How are tribunals managing? Issue of fees What are employment judges doing with their time when they are not judging cases? Will cases beyond June be delayed? The situation with listings in 2021 – will they be moved to accommodate unheard 2020 cases? The webinar attracted over 1,000 viewers and is now available to watch online. This webinar was in response to,…

Covid-19, Employment Webinars, Employment during Covid-19, Webinars & Vlogs 3 Jun, 2020

Gus Baker’s H&S advice noted in House of Commons Briefing Paper

A House of Commons Briefing Paper, “Coronavirus; Returning to Work”, has noted Gus Baker’s recent guidance on Coronavirus and Health & Safety Dismissals as a key reference point. Gus Baker’s guide, published last month, provides a detailed look at when employees will be protected from dismissal and detriment under Section 44 and Section 100 of the Employment Rights Act. His guide notes that: “prior to the coronavirus pandemic, employment disputes in which individuals refused to work because of danger were relatively rarely seen by employment tribunals. …The emergence of Covid 19 is likely to change this. For as long as the virus remains prevalent, and no vaccine has been found, each and every workplace is potentially an environment in which…

Covid-19, Legal Blog & Publications, Employment during Covid-19, Health & Safety during Covid-19 18 May, 2020

Daniel Barnett discusses CJRS on the Jeremy Vine Show

Daniel Barnett discusses employee and worker rights on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on the Jeremy Vine Show. Daniel Barnett has been providing regular updates to help decipher the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme since its launch in March. Daniel’s expertise prompted Jeremy Vine to invite Daniel on to his weekday morning show on Wednesday 13 May to discuss the scheme in advance of the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s update announcement. Daniel discussed employee rights regarding returning to work and answered viewers’ questions on workers rights.   Watch the Jeremy Vine interview Find out more Daniel Barnett is also the resident legal expert on LBC Radio. You can hear him on DAB Radio, FM 97.3 or via the GlobalPlayer App from 9pm…

Covid-19, Employment during Covid-19, News 14 May, 2020

Notice Pay when on Furlough

What notice pay should employers pay to employees on furlough if the employee has agreed to accept 80% of pay during furlough? Daniel Barnett clarifies. Salary payments made by the employer during furlough can still be reclaimed from HMRC (subject to the limits of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme), despite the employee working out notice. An unresolved issue is: if employees have agreed to accept 80% of their salary while on furlough, is their notice pay also paid at 80%, or does it revert by operation of law to 100%? Remarkably little has been written on this, in part because such a simple question entails an extremely complex analysis, and in part because even with that analysis, the answer remains…

Covid-19, Legal Blog & Publications, Employment during Covid-19 4 May, 2020

HMRC responds to Daniel Barnett’s questions on CJRS loophole

Further to Daniel Barnett’s recent article highlighting a potential problem with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, HMRC has responded directly with some answers. Daniel Barnett recently wrote an article highlighting a problem with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (see here). He also highlighted this directly to HMRC. HMRC has written to Daniel, providing clarity for employers and employees on one of the seemingly inconsistent aspects of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Paragraph 6.7 of The Treasury’s Direction to HMRC, which is the legislative source of HMRC’s power to make payments under the CJRS, states that an employer can only reclaim the employee’s salary, amongst other things, “…if the employer and employee have agreed in writing (which may be in an electronic form such…

Covid-19, Employment during Covid-19, News 23 Apr, 2020

A problem with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

There is a problem with the numerous iterations of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. You now need to get the employee to agree in writing that they will not work. Daniel Barnett looks at the implications for employers who have already started the scheme. On 20 March 2020, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP announced as part of “an unprecedented package of measures” that businesses and their employees would be assisted by the Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme), thus bringing the word “furlough” into common usage. The Scheme allows for a grant covering 80% of an employee’s usual monthly wage up to £2,500 per month plus Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions up to the level of the minimum automatic enrolment…

Covid-19, Employment during Covid-19, News 17 Apr, 2020

Coronavirus and Health & Safety Dismissals: The Emploment Rights Act

Gus Baker looks at Sections 44 and 100 of the Employment Rights Act in relation to coronavirus and health and safety dismissals. Gus Baker has produced a guide concerning health and safety dismissals and detriments under sections 44 and 100 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 in the time of Coronavirus. The guide provides a detailed look at how and when employees will accrue protection under the Act for taking unilateral action to protect their safety including: When can employees who consider themselves at risk of infection refuse to attend work? Can staff insist on wearing face masks? Can employers make employees redundant if they refuse to take part in activities they consider would be risky? Read the full guide…

Covid-19, Employment during Covid-19, News 16 Apr, 2020

High Court provides guidance on furlough and insolvency

A High Court judgment has provided important guidance on the provisions for furloughing employees where a company has gone into administration due to COVID-19. Peter Linstead explains how it is no less relevant despite the new Treasury Direction on furlough leave. On Easter Monday 13th April, a High Court judgment gave declaratory guidance on how the provisions for furloughing employees should be applied by administrators where a company had gone into administration as a result of the effects of coronavirus.  The judgment succeeds in providing essential clarity on the status of employees’ claims in an insolvency situation and has wider application to contractual variations in the context of furlough. It remains relevant in both these areas despite the publication on 15 April of…

Covid-19, Employment during Covid-19, News 15 Apr, 2020

Furlough and Annual Leave – Are We Clear?

With many businesses struggling during the ‘lockdown’, furlough is now a common term in employment law. Daniel Barnett looks at how this works alongside other forms of leave. The Government’s guidance on whether employees can take annual leave while on furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘CJRS’) is incomplete.  Employment Barrister Daniel Barnett gives his interpretation of the current situation while we await clarification. The following article deals with a wholly unclear area of law.  Daniel answers some frequently asked questions with his views at the time of publication (3rd April 2020) and specific advice should be sought on this fast moving area of law. Can an employee be on furlough and annual leave at the same time? At…

Covid-19, Employment during Covid-19, News 4 Apr, 2020

Paul Rogers analyses Covid-19’s impact on employer’s duties under HSWA 1974

In response to the Governments measures currently in place to combat the threat that Covid-19 poses Paul Rogers has analysed what impact this might have on an employer’s duty to its employees under HSWA 1974. First published on LexisPSL on 1 April 2020, this piece looks at the risks for employers and the steps they might take along with the position of homeworkers and existing HSE guidance. What is the impact of Covid-19 on employer’s duties under the HSWA 1974? On current scientific information and based on the extraordinary measures undertaken by government, it would be reasonable to assess Covid-19 as presently posing a significant risk to the health and safety of all persons coming into close (under 2m) contact…

Covid-19, Employment during Covid-19, News 3 Apr, 2020

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