We have all now experienced to some degree the pace at which change has occurred not only in our daily lives but in the workplace as well.
Please note: the information contained in our legal updates are correct as of the original date of publication
We have all now experienced to some degree the pace at which change has occurred not only in our daily lives but in the workplace as well. Employers will have been familiar with their duties to report certain work place accidents and incidents under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) before the outbreak of Covid-19. Now, employers must quickly get to grips with understanding when to report issues relating to Covid-19.
In the latest guidance from the HSE employers must now be aware of their obligations to report on the following:
The HSE provides as an example of a dangerous occurrence a lab worker accidentally smashing a glass vial containing coronavirus, leading to people being exposed. An example of a work-related exposure to coronavirus would be a health care professional who is diagnosed with Covid-19 after treating patients with Covid-19.
In the examples cited the obligation seems straightforward and clear. But, the HSE has so far provided no guidance on how the obligation relates to those businesses where Covid-19 testing is not available or where employers and employees cannot easily distinguish when, where or how individuals might have contracted the disease.
For example, school teachers, delivery drivers and supermarket workers are regularly required to leave their homes and travel to work, perhaps using public transport. Some people may be carriers without showing any symptoms, in particular children who may even be super carriers of the disease, so who is to say that key worker parents were not just as likely to have contracted the disease from an asymptomatic family member than from exposure whilst at work?
There are similar difficulties with the interpretation of when workers have been diagnosed as having Covid-19. Other HSE guidance in relation to reporting of occupational diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome suggests that this is diagnosis by a doctor. But in relation to Covid-19 we are being told not to attend at GP surgeries if we are showing any symptoms.
Employers have therefore been left to interpret when someone has been diagnosed with the disease and whether there is reasonable evidence that an employee was exposed to the disease whilst at work. There may yet be further clarity from the HSE and we will keep this under review.
Browne Jacobson welcomed the Chief Coroner, His Honour, Judge Thomas Teague, KC as a guest speaker at our recent Health and Care Connect Conference. We are delighted to now publish the key insights from that session, authored by the Chief Coroner himself.
The BMA is advising all NHS / HSCNI consultants to ensure extra-contractual work is paid at the BMA minimum recommended rate and to decline offers of extra-contractual work that doesn't value them appropriately.
Browne Jacobson was delighted to welcome Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam as a key note speaker at our recent Health and Care Connect Conference. We are delighted to now share the film of this key note speech together with an article sharing the key insights written by Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam himself.
Logistics company Eddie Stobart has been fined £133,000, after a series of failures which took place whilst excavation work was carried out, exposing its staff to asbestos.
This article is the second in a series to help firms take a practical approach to complying with the ‘cross-cutting rules’ within the new ‘Consumer Duty’ (CD) framework. The article summarises what it seems the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seeking to achieve from the applicable rules (section 2 below) and potential complications arising from legal considerations (section 3).
Two directors of a construction company were fined after failing to ensure the safe removal of asbestos from a plot of land. On 14 and 15 November 2021, Directors Anthony Sumner and Neil Brown, of Waterbarn Limited were involved in the uncontrolled removal of asbestos material from a plot of land in Grasscroft, Oldham.
An engineering company in Tyne and Wear was fined £20,000 after a worker fractured his pelvis and suffered internal injuries after falling through a petrol station forecourt canopy, whilst he was replacing the guttering.
The Digital Services Act (the “DSA”) has today (27 October) been given the go-ahead by the EU Council and will enter into force by early 2024.
NHS England has published (October 2022) new guidance - Assuring and supporting complex change: Statutory transactions, including mergers and acquisitions.
NHS England has issued an updated (publication 11 October 2022) suite of Complex Change guidance about how it will assure and support proposals for complex change that are reportable to it. New and (where it is still in force) existing Complex Change guidance are as follows.
Created at the end of the Brexit transition period, Retained EU Law is a category of domestic law that consists of EU-derived legislation retained in our domestic legal framework by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This was never intended to be a permanent arrangement as parliament promised to deal with retained EU law through the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (the “Bill”).
It is clear that the digital landscape, often termed cyberspace, is a man-made environment, in which human behaviour dominates and where technology both influences and aids our role in it — through the internet, telecoms and networked computer systems, which are often interdependent. The extent to which any organisation is potentially vulnerable to cyber-attack depends on how well these elements are aligned.
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.
Three months on from the commencement of the new statutory Integrated Care Systems (ICS) Anja Beriro and Gerrard Hanratty reflect on the main themes and issues that have come from the new relationship between local government and health.
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.
On Saturday 15 October a wave of light swept the internet when thousands of people flooded social media with pictures of candles to remember the babies that they have lost. This event signifies the end of Baby Loss Awareness Week which aims to break the silence that is associated with baby loss in pregnancy and infancy.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 allowed any registered medical practitioner to sign a medical certificate of cause of death (“MCCD”), even if the deceased was not attended to during his or her last illness and not seen after death, provided that the medical practitioner could state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief.
In our latest Shared Insights session, Focus on Emergency Medicine, chaired by Jennifer Fagin and Amelia Newbold, we were pleased to be joined by: Dr Alex Crowe, Deputy Director Incentive Schemes & Academic Partnerships, NHS Resolution and Consultant Nephrologist and Miss Susie Hewitt MBE, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have announced they will be carrying out a programme of inspections to primary and secondary school establishments from September 2022. The inspections will assess how schools are managing the risks from asbestos and meeting the Duty to Manage requirements, set out in Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
This article is the first in a series aimed to help firms get to grips on a practical basis with the ‘cross-cutting rules’ within the new ‘Consumer Duty’ framework.
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.
Browne Jacobson has been ranked as a Top Tier law firm in 25 key practice areas in Legal 500 UK 2023, the independent directory of comparative law firm performance. The firm also continues to underpin its status as one of the leading law firms in the East Midlands region with 16 Tier 1 rankings.
On 7 July this year, NHS England published its statutory guidance for Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) and with it set out the ICBs’ role and responsibilities and how they should collaborate, interact and carry out their anti-fraud, bribery and corruption functions in concert with NHS England.
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.
This case provides a reminder to contracting authorities that whilst the bar for an award of damages in procurement cases is high, following the Supreme Court ruling in Energy Solutions EU Ltd v Nuclear Decommissioning Authority  1 WLR 1373, it is not insurmountable when a contracting authority has acted with disregard to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCRs). There is also further guidance as to the use of frameworks
Welcome to our August edition of Public Matters, our monthly round-up of legal updates, news and insights for the public sector.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards was due to transition to Liberty Protection Safeguards in October 2020 but delayed due to the pandemic. While the public consultation has now closed and we’re still unclear of what the final legislation and code will look like, it’s worth noting and keeping a watching brief.
The use of social media platforms and applications can have overwhelmingly positive benefits for public bodies. However, regulatory action recently taken by the Information Commissioner, has highlighted various pitfalls that public bodies should seek to avoid if allowing staff to use social media as a communication tool.
Whilst the weather conditions are predicted to be cooling down this week, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is asking employers and businesses to consider adapting to recurrent warmer weather conditions for the safety and benefit of their staff. It asks employers to ensure that extreme heat becomes a firm part of longer term risk management. Climate change in any event is something all businesses will need to consider as the warmer weather becomes more frequent - extreme heat is something that will impact employers on a day to day basis.
In this session, our speakers discussed the Fitness to Practise Regime and how we can help.
This will be the first in a series of webinars looking into different areas of care and will focus on elderly care. Our speakers will be looking forward into 2023 and beyond to consider how elderly care may change in the future and will share insights gathered from a round table event held the week before.
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.
This on-demand webinar is presented by Jacqui Atkinson and Bridget Prosser. What HR issues are on your to-do list and what are the employment law ramifications?
This is an important training course for practising clinicians and any NHS professionals who would benefit from understanding the inquest process, including those working in clinical governance and risk, complaints, family liaison and in-house legal teams.
Recent reports of flat roofs constructed using RAAC planks collapsing without warning prompted the SCOSS alert.