Employment and pensions for public sector
Browne Jacobson’s experienced employment and pension lawyers and HR consultants understand the challenges faced by public sector organisations.
We deliver expert advice and strategic support on a full range of projects with employment implications. Working in partnership with your HR and management teams we’ll help reduce the likelihood of employment disputes – and risk and manage your obligations as a public sector employer.
We can also advise you on the commercial employment law implications of Brexit, including issues relating to immigration and licences to sponsor. When appropriate, our employment and pensions experts will also be called upon to support public procurement projects, specifically in relation to TUPE.
Our specialisms include:
- contracts and contractual disputes, including collective/recognition agreements and pay disputes
- policy drafting and amends - secondments, diversity, maternity, paternity, harassment, disciplinary, grievance, whistle-blowing, immigration
- restructures, changes to terms and conditions and redundancy exercises
- TUPE and the outsourcing or bringing services back in-house
- immigration and licences to sponsor
- settlement agreements and the approval and audit process
- trade unions, collective issues and industrial action
- private and public sector pension schemes, pensions litigation, regulatory compliance, trusteeship and other employee benefits
- renumeration strategies
Local authority Chief Executive
We supported a local authority Chief Executive to manage their relationship with a Section 151 Officer, avoiding an irretrievable breakdown.
We’re advising a non-departmental public body on a move from its current Covid-enforced homeworking arrangement to a true hybrid working model. We provided an options appraisal on contractual, tax and physical space issues to help them make an informed decision.
NHS Pension Scheme
We’ve advised a number of NHS Trusts on the statutory requirements of the NHS Pension Scheme, and eligibility to participate in other public sector pension arrangements, together with automatic enrolment requirements.
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
We advised Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service in relation to the over- and underpayment of pensions to firefighters.
You may be interested in...
New Rights for Working Parents and Carers
The NHS pay deal – are all Agenda for Change staff eligible?
Further three-day junior doctors strike announced for June
Pay deal reached for Agenda for Change employees
Third Party Harassment – haven’t we been here before?
Injunction means nurses’ strike will be cut short
Supporting employees with mental health issues
Further industrial action announced as RCN reject pay deal
NHS pay deal – is this the end of the dispute?
Plans to amend NHS pension rules to bolster NHS workforce approved by government
Increase to 20 hour limit on supplementary employment for Health and Care Worker visa holders
Junior doctors vote unanimously in favour of strike action
Consultation launched on minimum ambulance service levels during strike action
Opinion - Maternity services
Changes to redundancy protections for employees post-maternity leave
BMA issues medical locum rate card for junior doctors
Employment update webinar
Menopause and the workplace
Legal Update - Shared Insights
Shared Insights: Looking ahead to 2023 – what Health and Care employers need to know
Rising Employment Tribunal backlog
Menopause and the NHS workforce addressing the female brain drain…
4-day working week a success?The Covid-19 pandemic drastically changed the world’s way of working, with increased flexibility being greatly desired by employees. Earlier on in the year, a number of organisations trialled the concept of a 4-day working week – which has clearly been a success for many.
Coming of age
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.
How AI and technology can transform the healthcare sector
BMA advises consultants not to accept less than the BMA minimum rate card for extra-contractual work
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.
Rising wages ahead
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.
World Cup 2022 – how employers can avoid scoring an own goal!
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 – what are the limitations?
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.
IR35 rules here to stay after government U-turn
Redundancy consultation and selection concerning expiry of a fixed term contract – EAT put the spotlight onto a ‘selection pool of one’
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.
Lying on your CV – what can possibly go wrong?
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.
Internal reports and privilege
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.
IR35 rules to be scrapped from April 2023
Revoking and reforming EU law
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.
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.
Public sector exits – your chance to input to HM Treasury consultation
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.
Covid-19 vaccine beliefs held to be religious in nature
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.
Unions bowled over by strike legislation
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.
Gender Identity v Gender Beliefs
We have seen a flurry of recent EAT and ET decisions demonstrating the difficulty that employers face in trying to balance different protected characteristics in the workplace. In this article, Lucinda Chaplin and Will Carter, associates in our employment team, explore the principles from these recent cases, and the workplace implications of them.
The Government confirms it has no plans to make menopause a protected characteristic
With menopause cases reaching Employment Tribunals at a record rate, there had been speculation about whether the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010) could be amended to include specific protection for menopause.