With the arrival of a new year and a promising COVID-19 vaccine, many U.K. employers have expressed renewed interest in returning to the workplace. But those hoping a mandatory vaccination policy will serve as a silver bullet to reopening plans should proceed with caution. Whilst there may be certain settings in which such a policy is reasonable, pursuing it could trigger a number of legal implications.
As England experiences a second lockdown, the UK Government has announced an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as the furlough scheme) to protect businesses and employees as the pandemic continues to adversely impact the economy. Additionally, new regulations have come into force in England which oblige employers to ensure their employees are complying with any requirement to self-isolate.
A new Job Support Scheme designed to protect jobs in businesses facing lower demand over the winter months due to the COVID-19 pandemic will take effect November 1, 2020 and last for six months, the U.K. government announced on September 24, 2020. It will replace the U.K. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (known as the U.K.’s furlough scheme), which will come to an end on October 31, 2020.
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Breach of Confidentiality Term in a COT3 Settlement Agreement
In the case of Duchy Farm Kennels v. Steels, the High Court considered whether a term of confidentiality in a COT3 settlement agreement was a condition of the agreement, in which case a former employee’s breach of that term would have entitled the employer to withhold payments due under the agreement. Continue reading “U.K. Employment Law Update: Confidentiality Breaches, Anonymous Witnesses and the ‘Last Straw’ Doctrine”
In the final instalment of our series examining the return to work post-shutdown in the U.K., we look at the potential trends and longer-term changes that the COVID-19 pandemic will likely have on U.K. workplaces.
The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant shutdown in the U.K. have caused a massive shift in the way we work, with many employers sending their employees home and transitioning to home-working in a matter of days. Notwithstanding the devastating effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on personal lives and the U.K. economy, many employers have found the move to a predominantly home-working culture to be largely successful. So, now that most of us have finally mastered the art of the Zoom call, what does the future hold for the U.K. workplace as the country begins to emerge from the lockdown?
In this second instalment in our series examining the challenges U.K. employers are likely to face in the coming months, Faegre Drinker’s London labor and employment attorneys consider how employers can manage the economic impact that COVID-19 will likely have on many workplaces.
The global media has reported widely on the substantial impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and businesses. In the U.K., many employers will likely be facing significant economic pressures as a result of COVID-19 for the foreseeable future, even as the U.K. lockdown begins to lift. As a result, many employers will unfortunately need to look to reduce their workforce costs and recalibrate their businesses for ‘the new normal.’ Whilst mass redundancies have been much talked about (and feared) in the U.K., we explore the options for employers looking to avoid redundancies, as well as an overview of redundancy options if such measures cannot be avoided.
For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.