The Health and Safety at Work Act imposes on employers statutory duties to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees, as well as the health and safety of others affected by the operation of a business. Read more here.
The Health and Safety at Work Act imposes on employers statutory duties to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees, as well as the health and safety of others affected by the operation of a business.
In the face of this global pandemic employers will be concerned about the risks to their employees identified as essential workers who continue to attend the workplace.
COVID-19 is not a reportable incident under RIDOOR and so it is extremely unlikely that the HSE will investigate an employer in connection with employees contracting the virus, not least because it is difficult to see how the regulator could prove that the employee contracted the virus from the workplace.
What we have all seen is the speed at which all businesses have had to adapt to the changing needs of their business. The response has been varied for businesses but has included for some: a significant reduction in the workforce; redeployment of employees to unfamiliar parts of the business; and/or large numbers of new starters being onboarded to the workplace.
The pace of these changes does bring additional risk. All employers have a continuing and ongoing statutory duty to protect the health and safety of not only their employees but anyone else affected by the way they operate their business.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations makes it clear that employers must assess those risks and either eliminate them or put in place control measures to effectively manage those risks. All businesses must ensure they review and where necessary amend their risk assessments and safe systems of work to protect their workforce and others.
Whilst we can be fairly confident that employers will not face an investigation or enforcement action as a result of an employee contracting COVID-19, we do know for certain that enforcement action is the likely outcome if employers do not continue to assess and manage risks in the workplace in these very challenging times.
Whilst current thinking is that the risk of a workplace outbreak is low and that there is likely to be difficulty proving that an employee contracted the virus at work, employers owe a duty of care to keep their employees reasonably safe whilst at work.
That duty will be judged on sector based known risks. As such, a frontline health worker coming into contact with and providing medical treatment to those in the general public presenting with symptoms is likely to have a greater risk of exposure compared to a worker in the retail industry who is exposed to large numbers of the general population.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) provides the framework to help employers protect employees in the workplace and requires employers to prevent employees being exposed to substances hazardous to health, or if prevention is not reasonably practicable to adequately control exposure. The duty under COSHH includes biological agents which include; bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses such as COVID-19.
Official statistics show that 15,336 claims which included a complaint of age discrimination were received at the Employment Tribunals between March 2020 and March 2021.
The outcome of the Employment Tribunal claim brought by Gulnaz Raja against Starling Bank Limited (1) (Starling), and Matthew Newman (2) was reported last month.
In the Autumn Statement delivered on 17 November, rises to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates were announced, to take effect from 1 April 2023.
The World Cup kicks off in Qatar on Sunday 20 November 2022, with the final taking place on Sunday 18 December 2022. Undoubtedly, this is a huge sporting event, and many employees will be keen to show their support for their favourite teams. However, due to the time difference, start times for the matches are between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. UK time, which could have an impact on employers if employees who wish to watch the matches are scheduled to work.
Settlement agreements are commonplace in an employment context and are ordinarily used to provide the parties to the agreement with certainty following the conclusion of an employment relationship.
Where an employee appeals against their dismissal under a contractual appeal procedure and their appeal is successful, reinstatement to their previous role is automatic and does not require approval or agreement from the employee.
Settlement agreements in an employment context are ordinarily used to provide both parties with certainty following the conclusion of an employment relationship – but what happens when there is alleged discrimination after entering into a settlement agreement?
A few weeks ago we brought you news that following the Government’s mini-budget it was confirmed that the off-payroll working rules (known as “IR35”) put in place for public and private sector businesses from 2017 and 2021 would be scrapped from April 2023.
In Mogane v Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered whether it was fair to dismiss a nurse as redundant on the basis that that her fixed-term contract was due to expire before that of her colleague.
The majority of people do not feel the need to embellish their CV to get that coveted position and move on up the career ladder. Their worthiness and benefit to the hiring organisation are easily demonstrated through the recruitment process – application, psychometric testing, selection day or interview.
In July 2022, the Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited Judgement in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel relating to the correct calculation of statutory holiday pay for part year workers. This decision has implications for all part year workers on contracts which subsist all year round, whether their hours are normal or irregular.
The Government has announced a change to the categorisation of “small” businesses to reduce the amount of regulatory compliance (or “red tape”) required. Currently, SMEs (those with fewer than 250 employees) are exempt from certain regulations – such as the obligation to comply with gender pay reporting. With effect from 3 October, these exemptions will be widened to apply to businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
In University of Dundee v Chakraborty, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered whether a first draft of a grievance report could retrospectively be deemed to be privileged.
The Chancellor’s recent mini-budget provided a significant announcement for business as it was confirmed that the off-payroll working rules (known as “IR35”) put in place for public and private sector businesses from 2017 and 2021 will be scrapped from April 2023.
The Government has published the Retained EU Revocation and Reform Bill which, if passed, provides for the revocation of all “EU-derived subordinate legislation” (i.e. UK statutory instruments which were introduced to implement EU law) and retained direct EU legislation on 31 December 2023, unless legislation is specifically introduced to save them.
On 20 July 2022, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited judgment in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel, upholding the decision of the Court of Appeal. For those of you familiar with this case, you will know that it concerns the statutory leave requirements for part-time and part-year workers. For schools and academies whose workforce consists of a variety of types of part-time and part-year workers, this case is one that must be understood before any changes are applied. Come and join Emma Hughes, Head of HR Services as she puts questions to Ian Deakin, Employment Partner, and Sarah Linden, Senior Associate.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal’s recent decision in the case of Mr Michael Cowie & Others v Scottish Fire and Rescue Service provides a useful insight into favourable - or unfavourable - treatment in the context of discrimination claims.
This month, HM Treasury issued a consultation on Administrative Control Process for Public Sector Exits with draft guidance. They’re proposing to introduce an expanded approvals process for employee exits and special severance payments, and additional reporting requirements. If approved, the proposals will impact public sector bodies and those that do not have a specific right to make exit payments.
In Wierowska v HC-One Oval Limited, the Employment Tribunal had to determine whether the Claimant’s beliefs in relation to Covid-19 vaccines amounted to religious beliefs for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010.
Janice Walsh applied for a job with Domino’s Pizza, hoping to secure a role as a Delivery Driver. However things quickly took a turn for the worse during her initial interview, with the very first question that she was asked relating to her age. Ms Walsh was ultimately informed that she had not been successful in her application.
As of 21 July, two separate pieces of legislation came into force which seeks to mitigate against strike action. It should come as no surprise that this is a direct response to the rail strikes, which have dominated the news in the last couple of months.