Summer has arrived and although it’s a different sort of holiday period this year for many of us, we hope you’re getting a chance to stop for a while and take stock.
We’re combining the July and August editions of our newsletter this issue but will be back to a monthly version from September.
A break might be necessary for us all given the complex changes to the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which came in on 1 July and new incentives for employers announced in the Government’s “A Plan for Jobs”. We help you navigate these changes and untangle some of the particularly knotty areas, such as ‘flexible furlough’ and HMRC claim periods. We also update you on the latest COVID-19 guidance: from the ICO on data protection guidance on re-opening after COVID-19; from the Government, HSE, ACAS and others on creating a safe workplace; and from ACAS on supporting well-being.
In our case update we bring news that even beneficial contractual changes can be void when by reason of TUPE transfer; give guidance on when work carried out prior to a contract start date counts towards continuous service; and look at when an employer can reasonably rely on just an interview process when considering redundant employees for ‘alternative employment’.
The workload at Menzies continues unabated as we continue to advise on the constant work changes Covid creates. The last month has seen a high volume of redundancies, sadly, and we’ve advised on several Settlement Agreements. In addition, we’ve delivered TUPE training to two clients and we are supporting one of our longest-standing clients with the closure of one of their manufacturing sites.
We are well aware that restructuring and redundancies will continue for some time for many organisations, especially as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme nears its end which initially kept redundancies at bay in the early months of Covid.
We anticipate an increase in Employment Tribunal claims arising from poorly conducted and discriminatory redundancy processes. If you need a refresh of your redundancy process knowledge and weren’t able to attend our webinar ‘Redundancy and the Cost-Effective Alternatives’, it can be viewed HERE
If you are looking for insights and guidance on returning your employees to the workplace, we recorded our webinar on this subject too and it can be watched HERE. As the Government guidance is constantly changing, please do check the latest developments in the section to follow Updated guidance on Returning to the workplace.
Lindsey is now planning our marketing and events activity for the Autumn. We are aiming to hold two consecutive webinars which will act as substitutes for our usual ‘in person’ Autumn Employment Law Update. If you have any legal topics you’d particularly like to see covered in these webinars, please email Lindsey.
We are passing the ‘holiday baton’ between us over the holiday period as we seek to give everyone in the Menzies Law team a break from what has been a rather ‘full on’ period for us. There will of course be team members available throughout to assist if you need advice.
Whatever you are doing this Summer, enjoy and may the sun shine!
Here are all of the items we cover this month:
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – All things furlough (again!)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Beyond furlough; ‘A Plan for Jobs’
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Updated guidance on returning to the workplace
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Data protection – ICO guidance
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Safe workplace & well-being guidance
- Case update (1): TUPE – Beneficial variations void
- Case update (2): Unfair dismissal – What work counts for Continuous Service?
- Case update (3): Redundancy – Careful of selection by interview
And finally, our ‘nothing to do with employment law section
If you haven’t yet discovered Simon Sinek, we’d recommend you do. His new podcast ‘A bit of Optimism’ offers a glimmer of hope in these fraught times, sharing insights and lessons learned from a variety of inspiring interviews.