Employment

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More from the Downs Blog

Uber Drivers are workers and not self-employed, Supreme Court rules

19 February 2021. The UK Supreme Court has issued its judgment in the highly anticipated case of Uber BV v Aslam, in which the key issue was the employment status of Uber drivers. The ruling reinforced the findings of earlier legal challenges (most recently the Court of Appeal in 2018), which found that Uber drivers are workers and not self-employed.

Can I force my staff to have the Covid Vaccination?

Recent news reports indicate that some employers are considering making it compulsory for their staff to have a Covid vaccination.  Is this a lawful, or even sensible, move by employers?

Caring for your employee’s mental health

The WHO defines good mental health as: “a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stress of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

Millions of UK workers to receive increase in pay from April 2021

In April of each year, the Government increases statutory payments that are payable to workers and employees. 

Working from home - where do you stand?

Under new government guidance, you should work from home if you can effectively do so. However, some employers may ask their employees to return to work whilst restrictions are in place - particularly if it is not reasonable to carry out that work at home. For those who are concerned about health problems, or juggling childcare, where do you stand in the eyes of the law?

What the new lockdown means for businesses, employees and workers

The third lockdown in England legally came into force on 6 January 2021. How long it will last is uncertain. At least until mid-February and possibly until late March. Vaccination provides a route out of the pandemic, but businesses need to survive this final and possibly longest of the lockdowns.

We are open

During these uncertain times, it is good to know you can count on us.

Even after the recent Government announcement of another national lockdown we remain open for business and are here to help you.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extended Until March 2021

On Thursday 5 November 2020, the Chancellor announced that the furlough scheme is to be extended until the end of March 2021. During this period you will be able to claim up to 80% of an Employees salary up to a cap of £2500.

 

Coronavirus Update - CJRS Extended

The Chancellor announced over the weekend that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) that was due to end on 31st October will be extended until 2nd December.  The level of support available under the extended scheme will mirror that of what was available under the CJRS in August, with the Government paying 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500.

Chancellor announces changes to the Job Support Scheme

The Chancellor announced on Thursday 22 October that the Government contribution to employers’ wage costs under the Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be increased. Employers will be expected to pay 5% of the cost of unworked hours instead of the 33% originally announced.

Coronavirus Update - CJRS Bonus - Are you eligible?

Back in the summer the Chancellor announced that employers could receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee who had previously been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme  provided they remained continuously employed to the end of January 2021.  Businesses will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus from 15 February 2021 and the Government has stated that further guidance will be provided by the end of January 2021.

Coronavirus Update - Jobs Support Scheme announced

With new government guidance on Covid coming into force today and the current furlough scheme coming to an end next month, as expected, the Chancellor has today announced a new scheme to help businesses.  

Latest government Covid measures re-introduce work from home message

As Covid-19 cases continue to climb, the UK faces ever tougher restrictions. But, with the furlough scheme winding down, what rights do employers and employees have when returning to work?

 

Barclays backtracks in privacy row over worker surveillance project

Barclays Bank has withdrawn a system that monitored employees’ computers, tracking individual working patterns and how much time each day was spent on breaks. Details of the pilot project came to light after a Barclays whistle blower reported it to a newspaper.

New contract terms affecting all new employees and workers to come into force on April 6 2020

From 6 April 2020 there will be changes to the minimum written terms that must be provided to employees AND the timing of when these terms must be provided to them. These terms are known as Section 1 statements, referring to Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA).

The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations set to come into force on 6 April 2020

Downs Solicitors is pleased to play a small part in helping to raise awareness of a new and important piece of employment law that is coming into force in April 2020. The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations will be known as Jack’s Law. This is in memory of Jack Herd who died in 2010 and whose mother, Lucy, has campaigned tirelessly ever since for mandatory leave for grieving parents.

What could work look like in 2020?

One of the big focuses in recent years has been on flexible working and how it has changed the concept of a “normal” working day. From challenging the norms of 9-5 working to commuting time counting as working time, there’s no doubt that the new decade could bring a new shape of working – but what does that mean for business leaders and their HR teams?

How might the decision to make ethical veganism a philosophical belief affect employers?

Jordi Casamitjana was dismissed in 2018 by The League Against Cruel sports for gross misconduct. Mr Casamitjana, an ethical vegan, claims that his dismissal came after telling colleagues that their employer’s pension fund was being invested in companies involved in animal testing. His solicitors claimed that the decision to dismiss was made because of his beliefs around ethical veganism.

Time to call for further workplace flexibility

Whilst many see flexible working as an opportunity to juggle a work life balance more successfully, a lot of work needs to be done around overall wellbeing for the employee – and ways in which the employer can help facilitate that.

Self-employed? You might want to think about how you will fund retirement

According to recent news, the average self-employed worker faces working until they are 79 to secure a big enough pension pot to support them in later life.

Another GDPR data breach hits the headlines

No sooner have we published a blog about British Airways’ largest GDPR fine on record, we find another story in the news.

BA Faces "Largest" GDPR Breach Fine

British Airways (BA) looks set to face the largest GDPR penalty by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of £183m for last year’s data breach that put 500,000 customers’ details at risk.

Stress in the workplace

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), stress, depression and anxiety were the main factors for time off work in 2017/18, equating to 15.4 million working days lost.

3 Ways employers can take better care of the older workforce

People are living longer and therefore, they are working longer. According to the latest data from the ONS, there has been a rise in the number of over-50s in the workplace due to changes in the state pension age and shortfalls in pension payments.

Focus on Wellbeing this Mental Health awareness week

This week, 13 - 19 May 2019, is Mental Health Awareness Week. So, what better time to talk about mental health within the workplace.

GDPR One Year On

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is nearly one year old, having come into effect on May 25th 2018. Many businesses in the UK and abroad have made amendments to elements of their practices to ensure GDPR compliance. As with any substantial change, there has been a steep learning curve and inevitable growing pains. With the one year mark fast approaching it seems an appropriate time to look at the impact and success, if any, of GDPR.

Paternity Leave is taking a new shape

Shared parental leave was introduced in 2015 as a way of redressing the balance between maternity and paternity leave. The purpose was to allow mothers to transfer all or part of their maternity leave to the father, allowing them to return to work.

April 2019 Employment Law changes

Each April, the Government may amend employment regulations and set new deadlines for Companies to meet. The following are deadlines and updates which Managers and HR professionals should be aware of:

Sickness: Is it serious

None of us like to think about getting ill, but if you run a business, it can be helpful to identify the leading causes and reasons for sickness in order to effectively manage workflow.

Working 8–4? What a way to make a living!

As if Ms Dolly Parton’s appearance at the recent Grammy Awards wasn’t enough, her new Netflix series beginning in 2019 will soon have reminisces tapping their feet to some of her major hit records. Perhaps working “9-5” is one that resonates most – and what a way to make a living indeed. Since writing her hit, the workplace has changed considerably and it is interesting to see how employers and employees alike are adapting to that change.

Gender Pay Gap back in the news

It’s been nearly 12 months since the first companies began publishing information about their gender pay gap. One year on, it looks as though we have still quite a way to go as the newest round of pay gap snapshots hit the headlines with Britain having the largest gap between the sexes in the European Union.

Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm not sure WORK is the place for romance, are you?

Valentine’s Day has gone for another year, but it got us thinking about the consequences of romance in the workplace, for both employees and employer.

Christmas Parties: Don't be tempted to treat yourself to a sick day

Apparently, around 9 out of every 10 businesses have had an employment related issue as a result of Christmas party antics. One of the most commonplace issues is the hangover and staff calling in sick the next day after drinking too much at the Christmas party the night before.

How the Morrisons Data Breach case should put employers on their guard

GDPR seems to be the word of the year, but as many businesses still try to get to grips with it, the Court of Appeal have issued details surrounding a case of data protection. Is an employer responsible if an employee deliberately breaches a data protection law?

GDPR four months on: What's changed?

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25 May this year. It, together with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), replaced existing laws in the UK relating to data protection and became an obligatory requirement across the whole of the European Union. Even though this had been bubbling away in the news for several months, there were concerns that businesses remained relatively in the dark about what they had to do. In the end, the majority of cases saw a last-minute scramble to implement the new regulation – and it appears to be still on-going.

Managing a more flexible workforce

To follow up on a couple of recent news stories relating to flexible work, for employers thinking of adopting change, you will also need to know how to effectively manage a more flexible workforce.

The email train: Does the commute count as working hours?

It seems the debate about “working hours” rages on. We recently wrote a blog about how working hours have changed and that people are moving towards much more flexible models.

Working 9-5: Not the way to make a living

Despite Dolly Parton's smash hit, it seems that just 6% of working people are sticking to the traditional 9-5 shift pattern, according to a recent survey by YouGov.

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