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Employment Blog articles

Obesity and employment – Whose problem is it and is there a need for special protection?

Obesity and employment – Whose problem is it and is there a need for special protection?

As I write this, we’re still in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are told that obesity is a high risk factor in connection with COVID-19. In July 2020, Public Health England estimated that having a BMI of 35 to 40 could increase a person’s chances of dying from COVID-19 by 40%, while a… Read more »

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Protecting your business – How restrictive covenants can help

Protecting your business – How restrictive covenants can help

In recent months we have seen an increase in businesses looking to actively enforce restrictive covenants in contracts of employment and ex-employees who want advice on whether their personal restrictive covenants are enforceable. The current economic climate is proving to be a challenge for businesses. Unfortunately, many businesses are having to consider redundancies and restructuring… Read more »

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Bullying at work – Lessons from Boris and Priti

Bullying at work – Lessons from Boris and Priti

The issue of bullying at work has been brought under the spotlight recently. The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has been found to have acted in breach of the Ministerial Code which provides that: There must be no bullying and no harassment. Harassing, bullying or other inappropriate or discriminating behaviour wherever it takes place is not… Read more »

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Presentations from Employment Conference – 18.11.20

Presentations from Employment Conference – 18.11.20

Below are links to all the presentations from today’s conference.  Please click on a presentation you would like to download:   Main session covering “Working in the new normal”; “Employment Tribunals”; and “Case law updates” Break out session – Immigration Break out session – IR35 Break out session – Redundancies Break out session – Mental… Read more »

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The Extended Furlough Scheme – Updated as of 13 November 2020

The Extended Furlough Scheme – Updated as of 13 November 2020

The government published further detail relating to the Extended Furlough Scheme on 13 November 2020. This update seeks to provide clarity on the consequences of the Extended Furlough Scheme and any differences it holds to the previous furlough scheme. We have produced a timeline of key dates for ease of reference. Update to the Extended… Read more »

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Changes to “shielding” – the implications for employers

Changes to “shielding” – the implications for employers

Following the second national lockdown across the country from 5 November, those who are identified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ have received a letter from the NHS with new shielding measures. These shielding measures will apply for 4 weeks up to 2 December when the country will then look to lift the lockdown and return to… Read more »

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Second national lockdown – Implications for employers around the extended furlough scheme

Second national lockdown – Implications for employers around the extended furlough scheme

The government’s announcement of another national lockdown came with the welcomed news that the Furlough Scheme (“the Scheme”) would be extended until 31 March 2021. The clear aim behind the extension of the Scheme is to preserve jobs through the winter months so that, come spring 2021, our economy would be on the road to… Read more »

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Flexible furlough – How does it work?

Flexible furlough – How does it work?

Following the Chancellor’s further announcement relating to the extended furlough scheme yesterday, we have updated our blog on the flexible furlough scheme below. Flexible furlough scheme details Under the flexible furlough scheme, employees no longer need to avoid doing any work for the employer, but can work for some of the week and be furloughed… Read more »

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Can a failure to return to work constitute resignation in a constructive dismissal claim?

Can a failure to return to work constitute resignation in a constructive dismissal claim?

Introduction to constructive dismissal Constructive dismissal claims are notoriously hard to successfully claim as the burden lies with the employee to prove that they were entitled to resign from their role following a repudiatory (fundamental) breach of contract by their employer. In other words, an employee is entitled to resign and treat themselves as being… Read more »

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The Job Support Scheme – New employee retention initiative

The Job Support Scheme – New employee retention initiative

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak recently announced a new Job Support Scheme to assist employers in keeping staff in their jobs during his speech on the government’s winter economy plan. The Job Support Scheme has been updated twice since it was originally announced, firstly on 12 October 2020 and most recently on 22 October 2020 when… Read more »

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Settlement Agreements – Frequently asked questions

Settlement Agreements – Frequently asked questions

As an employee you may find yourself presented with a settlement agreement. In this blog we answer the most frequently asked questions we receive and also give you some practical guidance on what to do if you are presented with a settlement agreement. Settlement Agreements As a starting point, we outline what a settlement agreement… Read more »

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Job retention bonus scheme: Update as at 2 October 2020

Job retention bonus scheme: Update as at 2 October 2020

On 2 October 2020, the government produced new guidance relating to the Job Retention Bonus Scheme. This is also supported by a new Treasury Direction on the Job Retention scheme and some useful practical examples to assist employers.  We have outlined the key points for employers based on the new information known as at 2 October… Read more »

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Permitting a worker to break their self-isolation: new regulations and what this means for employers

Permitting a worker to break their self-isolation: new regulations and what this means for employers

New self-isolation regulations to curb the recent rise in Coronavirus infections (announced at midnight on Sunday 27 September) confirm it is now an offence for an employer to knowingly permit a worker to break their self-isolation.  What are the new self-isolation regulations? The new self-isolation regulations are called the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England)… Read more »

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Coronavirus – Working from home again?

Coronavirus – Working from home again?

In response to the concerning rise in new cases of Coronavirus in recent weeks, the Prime Minister made an announcement to the nation which introduces new restrictions to suppress the spread of the virus. Importantly, the government has confirmed the reinstatement of the policy that requires those who can work from home to do so…. Read more »

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Are you and your EU citizen workers prepared for Brexit?

Are you and your EU citizen workers prepared for Brexit?

The Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020 and brings big changes for any EU citizen who want to come and live and work in the UK. In this article, we summarise these changes and provide a step by step timeline for employers to follow to meet their requirements. The Brexit deadlines for EU… Read more »

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Transferring personal data to the U.S.

Transferring personal data to the U.S.

The rules around transferring personal data from the European Union to the United States have been amended.  In this blog we look at the recent decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union on 16 July 2020 which confirmed that the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework is no longer a valid mechanism to comply… Read more »

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Furloughed employees to receive full redundancy payments

Furloughed employees to receive full redundancy payments

Furloughed employees will be entitled to receive redundancy payments at their normal rate of pay, rather than the reduced furloughed rate. This change on redundancy pay was announced by the government on 30 July and applies with immediate effect from today, 31 July 2020. What is the change to redundancy payments? Redundancy payments are calculated… Read more »

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Returning to the workplace – What should employers be considering?

Returning to the workplace – What should employers be considering?

Returning to the workplace was a topic of the Prime Minister’s announcement on Friday 17 July, confirming that more easing of lockdown restrictions is to take place in the foreseeable future. In particular, it was confirmed that, from 1 August, the government is going to “give employers more discretion and ask them to make decisions… Read more »

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Employees returning from Spain and self-isolation

Employees returning from Spain and self-isolation

The government announced on 25 July 2020 that if you are returning from Spain to England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland on or after 26 July 2020 you will need to self-isolate for two weeks. The rules apply to travellers arriving from anywhere in Spain – including the Canary and Balearic Islands and will apply… Read more »

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Points-based immigration system post Brexit – Updated guidance from Home Office

Points-based immigration system post Brexit – Updated guidance from Home Office

On 13 July 2020 the Home Office published much awaited further guidance on how the proposed new points-based immigration system will work when it is implemented on 1 January 2021. The significant change of course is that from 1 January 2021 free movement is ending for those from the EU. New entrants to the UK… Read more »

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Monitoring employees – Can it be done legally?

Monitoring employees – Can it be done legally?

This blog explores the concept of monitoring employees, whilst taking a look at the legal and practical considerations for employers who choose to monitor their employees. Given the current climate that faces us, an unprecedented number of employees have been actively encouraged by their employers and the government to work from home. After a few… Read more »

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Social distancing in the workplace – What does this mean for employers?

Social distancing in the workplace – What does this mean for employers?

What does social distancing in the workplace mean for employers after the Prime Minister announced the latest round of plans to further ease the lockdown restrictions on 23 June? One important feature of his speech was when he stated that “from now on we will ask people to follow guidance on social contact instead of… Read more »

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Flexible furlough – Employers’ key questions answered

Flexible furlough – Employers’ key questions answered

This blog seeks to provide answers to the common questions that employers have in respect of the flexible furlough scheme. Please note that this blog is supplemental to our recent update “Flexible furlough – How does it work” which explains (with helpful examples) on how employers can calculate pay for employees moving to a flexible… Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Family friendly rights

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Family friendly rights

Family friendly rights in the workplace are difficult enough for employers to manage in usual circumstances. In this blog we look at the particular challenges faced by employers and employees when employees are returning from maternity leave and similar family leave (such as adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement leave) during the Coronavirus pandemic. Family… Read more »

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New IR35 tax rules

New IR35 tax rules

Is your business ready for the changing IR35 tax rules? Background to IR35 Personal Services Companies (PSCs) became increasingly popular in the 1990s and allowed individuals to structure their working affairs in such a way that resulted in individuals paying less tax and national insurance. In 2000, the Government introduced the IR35 legislation to recover… Read more »

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Furlough Scheme – Changes to contribution and ‘flexible furloughing’

Furlough Scheme – Changes to contribution and ‘flexible furloughing’

On Friday 29 May 2020, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak announced further changes to the furlough scheme. These changes are slowly being phased in to reduce the impact on business and get employees slowly back to work. The government’s aim is to ‘kick start’ the economy (read Chancellor Sunak’s announcement on the scheme) What are the… Read more »

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Coronavirus : Redundancies and collective consultation

Coronavirus : Redundancies and collective consultation

There are several important steps that employers need to take when entering into a collective consultation process in order to make staff redundant. This forms the second part to my recent blog on redundancies and individual consultation. In my recent blog, I outline the key parts of a fair redundancy process, including what the three… Read more »

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NHS Test and Trace – entitlement to statutory sick pay

NHS Test and Trace – entitlement to statutory sick pay

On 27 May 2020, the new ‘Test and Trace’ system was launched in England with the aim of helping ‘return life to normal, in a way that is safe and protects our NHS and social care.’ In line with this new system, entitlement to SSP has today been extended, so that anyone who has been… Read more »

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The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – New Treasury Direction Released 22 May 2020

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – New Treasury Direction Released 22 May 2020

On Friday 22 May 2020 the Treasury published a new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Direction  (CJRS) dated 20 May, to modify (and hopefully clarify) the legal framework for the Scheme. This replaces the previous Treasury Direction of 15 April, which we previously reported on. As David Roath discussed in his Job Retention Scheme update, the… Read more »

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Coronavirus : Redundancies and individual consultation

Coronavirus : Redundancies and individual consultation

Making redundancies will unfortunately be the harsh reality for many employers due to the impact of Covid-19. For those employers who, over the coming weeks and months, find themselves in the difficult position of having to making compulsory redundancies, it is crucial that they follow a fair process. My colleague, David Roath, recently wrote an… Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) : Furlough and holidays – Update 20 May 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) : Furlough and holidays – Update 20 May 2020

Furlough and holidays has been a subject we have received a lot of enquiries about. Since the furlough scheme was announced in March 2020 we’ve been providing regular updates on furlough leave, and the guidance which the government has been issuing.  Over the last few days a number of updates have been updated, which we… Read more »

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Employment status of part-time referees

Employment status of part-time referees

The employment status of part-time referees was recently considered in the case of Revenue and Customs v Professional Game Match Officials Ltd.  What is the employment status of part-time referees? Ultimately, it was held that the referees were independent contractors (self-employed). In this blog we discuss this case and the wider implications it has on… Read more »

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Guidance on testing workers for Coronavirus

Guidance on testing workers for Coronavirus

We set out guidance for employers on testing workers for Coronavirus in light of the recent extension of eligibility to be tested. It was announced on 28 April 2020 that all employees whose work cannot be done from home can now be tested for Coronavirus, if they have symptoms. They are able to make an… Read more »

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How to avoid redundancies post lock-down

How to avoid redundancies post lock-down

How to avoid redundancies post lockdown has been brought into focus since Boris Johnson announced the broad roadmap to take us out of lockdown yesterday evening. We know there’s a long and hazardous path the country needs to travel and the impact on the economy is going to be huge. We’re told to expect a… Read more »

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Exiting furlough : How do we exit and what is next for employers?

Exiting furlough : How do we exit and what is next for employers?

As we look towards exiting furlough, this is an important time for businesses to plan and implement the measures that will enable them to exit furlough and navigate the coming months. For the majority of our employer clients, the past month has been a whirlwind of change, absorbing and reacting instantaneously to ever shifting government… Read more »

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What if an employer becomes aware of a disability post termination?

What if an employer becomes aware of a disability post termination?

Employers have to be alert to potential disabilities of employees, even if they become aware of a disability post termination. The case of Baldeh v Churches Housing Association of Dudley and District Ltd [2019] UKEAT/0290/18 illustrates this. Disability post termination example In this example, the employer only became aware of the employee’s disability post termination…. Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) : How are Employment Tribunal hearings operating?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) : How are Employment Tribunal hearings operating?

The Employment Tribunal has released information about how it will operate during the current pandemic. The overriding objective of the Employment Tribunal is to deal with cases in a manner which is both fair and just. Like many organisations, the Employment Tribunal is moving to online modes of working wherever possible, although has acknowledged that… Read more »

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New ways of working and team morale during remote working

New ways of working and team morale during remote working

Remote working – Casting an eye back to 2019, before the coronavirus outbreak, less than 30% of the working population reported that they worked from home. Now, almost overnight, businesses all over the UK were propelled into the new norm of remote working. For Paris Smith, various existing support systems proved invaluable to the teams… Read more »

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Reacting to COVID-19 as an employer – it’s not just about the law

Reacting to COVID-19 as an employer – it’s not just about the law

I wrote another article about how employees might use this enforced lockdown as a time for reflection about their careers (and more). I also believe it’s a time where employers need to react and conduct themselves carefully and compassionately. In my own working world, law firms are treating their staff very differently across the sector…. Read more »

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Coronavirus : A time for a change or a time to be conservative?

Coronavirus : A time for a change or a time to be conservative?

This year, I’ve been a lawyer for 25 years (boy doesn’t time fly). My focus as an employment lawyer has changed over the years and I now advise departing senior employees as much as I advise employers. Sometimes the exit is desired by the employee and sometimes it comes as a shock. One constant thing… Read more »

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New statutory entitlements to parental bereavement leave and pay

New statutory entitlements to parental bereavement leave and pay

(This blog was co-written by Adam Wheal, trainee solicitor and Andrew Willshire, Solicitor) This blog discusses the new statutory entitlements to parental bereavement leave and pay, in light of recent government guidance. What are the new entitlements to parental bereavement leave and pay? This new right came into force on 6 April 2020 and so… Read more »

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3 top tips to surviving your first seat as a trainee solicitor

3 top tips to surviving your first seat as a trainee solicitor

Trainee solicitor, Lucy, shares her 3 top tips on how to survive (and hopefully thrive) throughout the first seat as a trainee solicitor. First day as a trainee solicitor After receiving my training contract offer over two years beforehand, the big ‘First Day’ seemed daunting to say the least; I suppose primarily from the fear… Read more »

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COVID-19: New changes to Statutory Sick Pay entitlement and guidance on how to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay

COVID-19: New changes to Statutory Sick Pay entitlement and guidance on how to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay

COVID-19 has resulted in several changes to Statutory Sick Pay (“SSP”) entitlement. The most recent changes, published on 19 April 2020, impact upon who is eligible to receive SSP and how sickness absence will interact with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (better known as “Furlough Leave”). These frequent updates and changes mean that employers need… Read more »

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COVID-19 Furlough and holiday : Update 17.04.2020

COVID-19 Furlough and holiday : Update 17.04.2020

Yesterday the government made a further update relating to furlough and holiday as well as an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme. Since the furlough scheme was announced in March 2020 we’ve been providing regular updates on furlough leave, and the guidance which the government has been issuing. We’ve also become accustomed to the… Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Furlough Scheme extended to the end of June

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Furlough Scheme extended to the end of June

This blog discusses the Furlough Scheme extended announcement issued by HM Treasury today, confirming the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of June. Read the full details of the “Furlough extension announcement” by HM Treasury. Furlough Scheme extended by one month As has been highlighted by this afternoon’s announcement, this topic… Read more »

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COVID-19 : Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Important update as at 15 April 2020

COVID-19 : Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Important update as at 15 April 2020

On 15 April The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme had an important, more detailed update from the government. We have in recent weeks been doing many blogs and updates on the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). This was announced in some haste on 26 March 2020 and the first guidance was issued shortly thereafter. More… Read more »

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Furlough Scheme Update as at 09.04.2020

Furlough Scheme Update as at 09.04.2020

On 9 April 2020 the government issued a further update to the Furlough Scheme which answers some of the outstanding queries, but unfortunately not all. Some outstanding Furlough Scheme questions answered This blog looks at further furlough scheme questions which have been answered. It doesn’t deal with the points which were already clear, and which… Read more »

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Coronavirus: Job Retention Scheme – Can directors be furloughed?

Coronavirus: Job Retention Scheme – Can directors be furloughed?

In light of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme announced by the Chancellor on 20 March 2020, this blog discusses the ability for directors to be furloughed after updated guidance was released by the government on 4 April 2020. It also discusses the implications that arise in relation to directors who manage their own Personal Service… Read more »

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COVID-19: Annual leave, bank holidays and furlough

COVID-19: Annual leave, bank holidays and furlough

In light of the upcoming Easter weekend, this blog discusses how annual leave, and in particular bank holidays, should be dealt with under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Since this blog there have been several updates from government. You can read the details in our new guidance on furlough and annual holidays which was updated… Read more »

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Furlough Scheme – Updated guidance

Furlough Scheme – Updated guidance

The government has now issued some updated guidance on the furlough scheme, and have provided answers to some, but not all, of the questions that employers were struggling with –  “Claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – updated 5 April 2020“. Answers to further questions for employers This blog examines… Read more »

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COVID-19 : Practical issues of working from home

COVID-19 : Practical issues of working from home

This blog looks at the practical issues of working from home an employer needs to think about to make home working a success for the business and their staff.  Although many businesses already accommodate home working, for many more it is a new and potentially scary concept. Both employees and managers have had to adapt… Read more »

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Coronavirus : Ability to carry over annual leave

Coronavirus : Ability to carry over annual leave

The ability to carry over annual leave due to the Coronavirus pandemic has been addressed in the newly enacted Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 which allows employees and workers to carry over up to four weeks annual leave into the next two leave years, if they have been unable to take it this year… Read more »

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Emergency volunteering leave

Emergency volunteering leave

(co-written by Adam Wheal, trainee solicitor, and Claire Merritt, Partner) Under the new Coronavirus Act 2020 employees and workers are entitled to emergency volunteering leave. This right is scheduled to remain in force for two years. This blog discusses the interesting new provision contained in the Act entitling employees and workers to emergency volunteering leave,… Read more »

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COVID-19 : The legal issues of working from home

COVID-19 : The legal issues of working from home

In this blog, we look at the legal issues of working from home for staff and how employers can facilitate this change to ensure their business runs as smoothly as possible during the Coronavirus pandemic. Our blog “COVID-19 : Practical issues of working from home” covers the practical side. Legal issues an employer needs to… Read more »

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Working from home during Coronavirus: Top 5 compliance tips

Working from home during Coronavirus: Top 5 compliance tips

We are all operating in unprecedented times due to the Coronavirus pandemic and many of us are now working from home. This blog provides 5 top compliance tips to staying safe and protect confidential information whilst working from home. What are the 5 top compliance tips for for working from home during COVID-19? Below are… Read more »

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Good Work Plan – 6 April 2020

Good Work Plan – 6 April 2020

(co-written by Adam Wheal, Trainee Solicitor and Charlotte Farrell, Solicitor) The Good Work Plan comes into force on 6 April 2020. Whilst the proposed IR35 regulations, which were due to come into force on the same day, have been postponed until 2021; the changes to be implemented from the Good Work Plan are still going… Read more »

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Revised statutory pay and limits – April 2020

Revised statutory pay and limits – April 2020

This blog discusses the revised statutory pay and limits which will be coming into force in April 2020. These changes are still occurring despite disruption caused by COVID-19, so it is important for people to have the new rates on their radar. What are the statutory pay and limits coming into force on 1 April… Read more »

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Coronavirus: New financial protection for the self-employed

Coronavirus: New financial protection for the self-employed

(co-written by Adam Wheal, trainee solicitor and Claire Merritt, partner) Impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the self-employed On Thursday 26 March 2020, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced details of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme which he described as “one of the most generous self-employed support schemes anywhere in the world”. This blog discusses the… Read more »

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The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the furloughed worker

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the furloughed worker

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (updated on 5.4.2020 by government). Find out what the update was about by reading our blog ” Furlough Scheme – Updated guidance” On Friday 20 March 2020, the government announced the unprecedented introduction of an employee support scheme, which is operating immediately to offer grants to UK employers. The aim of… Read more »

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Age discrimination and insured benefits – Employer alert

Age discrimination and insured benefits – Employer alert

Employers need to make sure they are not caught out by age discrimination as state retirement age increases. Many employers offer benefits to their staff members including life insurance, health insurance, and/or medical insurance. Whilst age related discrimination is generally prohibited, it is accepted that these benefits may cease once the employee attains 65 years… Read more »

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The Coronavirus – Key considerations for employers

The Coronavirus – Key considerations for employers

Issues which many employers are likely to face during the Coronavirus outbreak. As the pandemic continues to spread, many employers are concerned regarding the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on their workforce and the smooth running of their business. In the UK there are now over 8,000 confirmed cases, and with guidance from the government… Read more »

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Employment Contract Reviews

Employment Contract Reviews

4 reasons you need an employment contract review Reason 1: To Recognise Legal Changes If new legislation is introduced by parliament or judges make decisions which change the way in which the law is applied, there could be an impact on employment contracts. If you are using a precedent contract that you have used for… Read more »

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5 Top Tips for Employment Contracts (Part 2)

5 Top Tips for Employment Contracts (Part 2)

This is the second part of our blog series focused on 5 top tips for employment contracts. The first part of our blog looked at identifying whether an employment contract is the best document to govern the relationship. This second part will focus on what should be included in the employment contract itself. 4. The… Read more »

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5 top tips for Employment Contracts (Part 1)

5 top tips for Employment Contracts (Part 1)

This is part one of a two-part blog which looks at 5 important considerations when creating employment contracts. This blog will explore what type of document should be used for your specific purposes and the overall form the contract takes. Part two will focus on what should be included in the contract of employment. 1…. Read more »

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Have you paid your data protection fee?

Have you paid your data protection fee?

The ICO is cracking down on companies who have not paid their data protection fee The GDPR is now firmly embedded in UK law and since May 2018 there have been an increasing number of reports of investigations by the ICO into data breaches and inappropriate use of personal data by companies across the country…. Read more »

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What is ethical veganism?

What is ethical veganism?

Ethical veganism – the new “philosophical belief” in discrimination law. Just how far must someone go to prove they believe it? Back in early January, my colleague Aleksandra commented on the decision in the case of Mr Casamitjana Costa v The League Against Cruel Sports. The Tribunal dealt with the preliminary question of whether or… Read more »

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Parental bereavement leave

Parental bereavement leave

The final hurdle to support bereaved parents in the workplace as Jack’s Law goes before Parliament to be ratified The Government has announced in the last few days that it has laid before Parliament the draft legislation for the Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations 2020. Due to come into force on 6 April 2020,… Read more »

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Use of non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment claims

Use of non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment claims

Are non-disclosure agreements or non-derogation clauses appropriate to use in the settlement of sexual harassment claims? In the wake of the allegations against high profile individuals such as Harvey Weinstein and Sir Philip Green, in addition to the recent Presidents Club dinner scandal, there is a question as to whether non-disclosure agreements (‘NDAs’) and confidentiality… Read more »

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Keeping in touch with your employee on maternity leave

Keeping in touch with your employee on maternity leave

Short Guide to keeping in touch with employees on maternity leave Flexibility in the workplace is a hot topic and employers are generally keen to look after their employees and encourage loyalty amongst the workforce. This will include ensuring that employees on maternity leave are treated lawfully and positively. I was surprised therefore in 2019… Read more »

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Employing EU Nationals after Brexit: 5 Tips for Immigration Planning in 2020

Employing EU Nationals after Brexit: 5 Tips for Immigration Planning in 2020

5 New Year resolutions to help you prepare for employing EU nationals after Brexit With the new year now upon us, if you run a business that employs EU nationals, it’s time to put your Brexit immigration plans into place.  As you will be aware, the UK is set to leave the EU on 31… Read more »

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Ethical veganism is a protected philosophical belief

Ethical veganism is a protected philosophical belief

Case Update on ethical veganism A short summary judgment in the Employment Tribunal has upheld ethical veganism as a philosophical belief that is capable of protection under the Equality Act.    Ethical vegans Dietary vegans eat a plant-based diet but ethical vegans will try to exclude all forms of animal exploitation as far as possible.  Dietary… Read more »

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What are Charities’ obligations in whistleblowing cases?

What are Charities’ obligations in whistleblowing cases?

Whistleblowing in charities The scandals last year involving Oxfam raise issues for charities and their duty of care to employees. Employees often raise day to day issues but sometimes those issues can be unexpected, concerning and cause high reputational risk. What is whistleblowing? The Employment Rights Act 1996 protects employees who “blow the whistle”. This… Read more »

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Employment legislation changes from April 2020

Employment legislation changes from April 2020

What are the changes to employment legislation due on 6 April 2020? The Good Work Plan There will be a suite of changes in the employment arena that will be implemented by 6 April 2020 following the release of the Good Work Plan. Our previous blog entitled “Gig economy reform – The Good Work Plan”… Read more »

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Dealing with flexible working requests

Dealing with flexible working requests

5 top tips for dealing with flexible working requests With technology increasingly enabling flexible working practices, flexible working requests are becoming more common. Ranging from employees working from home on occasion to altering their start and finish times to reducing their hours, statistics suggest that employees increasingly expect and value flexible working. Enabling flexible working… Read more »

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Changes to employment contracts imminent

Changes to employment contracts imminent

Will your business be ready by April 2020? Following the Taylor Review, the government released the Good Work Plan which set out a number of changes to the way that labour relations in the UK are governed. From a practical perspective, employers should be aware that there are a number of regulatory changes being made… Read more »

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Employment Conference Presentation – 03.10.19

Employment Conference Presentation – 03.10.19

Please follow the link to download the presentations from last week’s conference. If you have any queries concerning anything discussed in the conference please contact one of the team. Employment conference slides Hockley October 2019 (04450350)

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How to avoid harassment and bias at work

How to avoid harassment and bias at work

In this blog we set out our answers to some of the frequently asked questions  regarding harassment and bias at work that will be covered in our next training session on 23 October 2019. A number of recent cases have highlighted the problem of harassment and bias in the workplace and the risk faced by… Read more »

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Employment Conference Presentation – 25.09.19

Employment Conference Presentation – 25.09.19

Please follow the link to download the presentations from yesterday’s conference.  If you have any queries concerning anything discussed in the conference please contact one of the team. Employment conference slides 25.9.19 for website (04413035)

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Managing absence – Top tips

Managing absence – Top tips

Our next training session on 26 September 2019 will look at best practice for managing sickness absence at work. We will look at both the issues involved in managing short term persistent absence and long term absence due to serious ill health. The practical session will go through examples of the key issues faced by… Read more »

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Can I go home from work if it’s too hot? What employers should do in the heatwave

Can I go home from work if it’s too hot? What employers should do in the heatwave

A couple of days ago, the Southern Daily Echo asked me to comment on the question above. I set out some key points and thought no more of it, too busy coping with the heat myself… however the article has had significant impact. Its gone into around 75 news publications over the last two days… Read more »

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Does a workplace suspension need to be necessary?

Does a workplace suspension need to be necessary?

Most employers are reluctant to suspend an employee from duty when investigating their conduct as there is a risk that suspension could breach the implied term of mutual trust and confidence. Employers are correct to exercise caution given the consequences that could flow from making the wrong decision. However suspension will, in certain circumstances, be… Read more »

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Dress Code : Can my employer make me wear heels to work?

Dress Code : Can my employer make me wear heels to work?

In this blog we have considered whether employees can be required under a dress code to wear heels in the workplace within the UK. We have also outlined the current guidance for UK employers. You may have seen the recent media coverage surrounding the dress code requirements for women in Japan. More specifically, scrutiny has… Read more »

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Managing redundancy situations – Training

Managing redundancy situations – Training

Whilst employers aim to avoid redundancy situations wherever possible, unfortunately most businesses face making redundancies at some point, whether in relation to a workplace closure or to restructure roles to suit the changing needs of the business going forward. It is important that employers manage redundancy situations effectively to avoid the risk of claims for… Read more »

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Can employees enforce payment of discretionary bonuses?

Can employees enforce payment of discretionary bonuses?

Employees may establish this entitlement in circumstances where the contract has been varied through custom and practice, however must clearly demonstrate that this is the case by reference to relevant indicia. The decision of Bluestones Medical Recruitment Ltd v Swinnerton (UKEAT/0197/18/BA) highlights that in certain circumstances an employee can be found entitled to a bonus… Read more »

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In house employment law training : The benefits

In house employment law training : The benefits

In house training has several key benefits. Paris Smith’s in house training offers a broad range of employment law training topics. Paris Smith deliver employment law training sessions for clients at their offices in Southampton but are also able to offer training sessions for businesses from the convenience of their own premises as part of… Read more »

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Applications open for Non-Legal Employment Tribunal Members

Applications open for Non-Legal Employment Tribunal Members

For the first time since 2009, recruitment into non-legal Employment Tribunal member roles is being undertaken. This could be an exciting opportunity for some of our contacts in the community. Approximately 340 people will be accepted for either employer or employee non-legal panels. Candidates choose which panel they would prefer to be a part of… Read more »

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The benefits of a positive workplace culture on mental health issues

The benefits of a positive workplace culture on mental health issues

Business leaders should have confidence to display personal vulnerability Business leaders who pay due regard to the mental and physical wellbeing of their staff will undoubtedly see the benefits for their teams and their organisation as a whole. If one sees a colleague limping or bearing evidence of a physical injury one would naturally ask… Read more »

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How do you settle commercial disputes without going to court?

How do you settle commercial disputes without going to court?

Mediation can hold the key What is mediation and how does it apply to commercial disputes? Mediation is a forum for settlement of disputes in which an entirely independent specially trained third party (the mediator) meets the parties who are in dispute to help them negotiate a settlement of their dispute. Other common forums for… Read more »

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Preliminary Hearings – What employers need to know

Preliminary Hearings – What employers need to know

Preliminary hearings are commonly now listed as a matter of course for more complex claims that are brought in the Employment Tribunal, for example claims including a whistleblowing or discrimination element. Many employers are unfamiliar with the purpose of preliminary hearings or what to expect. We’ve set out below a guide to the preliminary hearing… Read more »

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Practical Equality & Diversity Training

Practical Equality & Diversity Training

Following the removal of employment tribunal fees, discrimination claims bought by employees continue to rise. Employers have a number of legal obligations to prevent discrimination at work. Ensuring fairness in the workplace is also a vital part of any successful business, helping to increase staff recruitment and retention and ensure a productive workforce. Our training… Read more »

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Why aren’t we mediating more employment disputes?

Why aren’t we mediating more employment disputes?

Employment disputes are rarely settled by mediation. I think employment lawyers need to consider mediation as a useful option for resolving cases in the employment tribunal. I had a meeting recently with an employment solicitor at another firm in the region. She had qualified recently as a mediator and we talked about employment mediations and… Read more »

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4 top tips for employers to help manage mental ill health in the workplace

4 top tips for employers to help manage mental ill health in the workplace

Reducing work-related stress can be hugely beneficial for employers – reducing absence levels and improving overall performance. Employers also have a legal obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees and to ensure they do not discriminate against disabled employees. Our training session on 20 March 2019 will go through the legal… Read more »

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Can an employer make decisions based on the organisation’s religious beliefs?

Can an employer make decisions based on the organisation’s religious beliefs?

A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision decided that the dismissal of a nursery employee for cohabiting with her boyfriend in contravention of the nursery’s religious beliefs was not direct religious belief discrimination. The Law The Equality Act 2010 (the “Act”) prohibits an employer from treating an employee less favourably as a result of a… Read more »

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5 practical tips to effectively manage disciplinary and grievance issues

5 practical tips to effectively manage disciplinary and grievance issues

Our next line manager training session will provide a guide to dealing with disciplinary and grievance issues, looking at the key issues employers need to be aware of via practical examples. Ahead of the training session, here are our top five practical tips to ensure effective management of disciplinary and grievance issues. Don’t ignore minor… Read more »

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Office banter or harassment?

Office banter or harassment?

Most employers accept that some element of banter and humour in the workplace is normal, and a friendly working environment is to be encouraged. However, there is a fine line between office banter and harassment. This issue has recently made headlines after being the focus of several recent discrimination claims. Compensation varies depending on the… Read more »

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Equal pay comparison scope in the retail sector

Equal pay comparison scope in the retail sector

(Co-written with Jonathan White, Trainee Solicitor) In respect of an equal pay claim against a major supermarket, a group of in-store employees have been permitted to compare themselves with other types of employees – specifically those at the supermarket’s distribution depots. The recent Court of Appeal decision in Asda Stores Ltd v Brierley & others… Read more »

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Employers face ban on keeping tips from staff

Employers face ban on keeping tips from staff

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has recently announced that plans to ensure that tips left for workers in the service industry go directly to them, in full. The announcement followed public outcry when it was discovered many restaurants took up to 10% of tips left for staff via card payments. Currently,… Read more »

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Mock Employment Tribunal – 13 February 2019

Mock Employment Tribunal – 13 February 2019

Back by popular demand, the Paris Smith Employment team is all set to demonstrate a mock tribunal case in action on 13 February 2019. Places for this event are limited so please do book in advance to secure a space. Due to the rise in the number of employment tribunal claims being brought, we understand… Read more »

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Gig economy reform – The Good Work Plan

Gig economy reform – The Good Work Plan

In our recent articles entitled “The problems with the gig economy” and “The gig economy – Why are Uber drivers workers and Deliveroo riders not?, we have looked at the problems caused by the gig economy and the conflicting case law in this area. We have been waiting for some time for the Government to… Read more »

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The gig economy – Why are Uber drivers workers and Deliveroo riders not?

The gig economy – Why are Uber drivers workers and Deliveroo riders not?

In our last article we looked at the problems caused by the rapidly growing gig economy. The Employment Tribunal has spent the last few years dealing with a wealth of Employment Tribunal claims from the gig economy, arguing that individuals are workers and entitled to benefits like holiday pay and rest breaks. This article looks… Read more »

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Five practical tips for effective performance management

Five practical tips for effective performance management

In the spirit of New Year resolutions and the introduction of our 2019 legal training programme here are our top five practical tips for managers to ensure effective performance management throughout the year. 1. Set the goal posts It is really important to ensure that employees understand the standard that is expected of them and… Read more »

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The problems with the gig economy

The problems with the gig economy

The recent announcement that the Court of Appeal has decided that Uber drivers are workers, and not genuinely self employed, has again put the gig economy back in the spotlight. In this first in a series of three articles we look at the problems caused by the gig economy, the state of the current case… Read more »

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New obligations for employers – mental health at work

New obligations for employers – mental health at work

The mental health charity Mind has recently published the alarming finding that poor mental health affects half of all employees. Fear of failure, mounting pressure and job insecurity have been found as some of the biggest contributors to stress in the workplace. This is something that some may argue will continue to rise in the… Read more »

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Are you at risk of an equal pay claim?

Are you at risk of an equal pay claim?

The big four supermarkets: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons are all currently facing equal pay cases. The firm Leigh Day is representing thousands of employees seeking back pay for predominantly female retail workers who believe that they are receiving less pay then predominantly male workers in distribution centres. It is estimated that if all four… Read more »

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As an employer are you liable for deliberate data breaches by employees?

As an employer are you liable for deliberate data breaches by employees?

Summary The Court of Appeal has this month upheld the decision of the High Court, agreeing that Morrisons are vicariously liable for the actions of one of their employees who disclosed payroll details of other employees, affecting around 100,000 colleagues. The case is the first data leak class action in the UK. Worryingly for employers,… Read more »

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Employment Publications / Press

Employment Factsheets

Employment Newsletter

February 2020

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January 2020

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December 2019

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November 2019

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October 2019

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September 2019

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November 2018

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October 2018

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September 2018

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August 2018

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July 2018

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The Mencap decision

the end of National Minimum Wage arguments for sleep-in shifts

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Employment Newsletter

June 2018

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May 2018

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GDPR

10 Steps to Compliance

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Employment Newsletter

April 2018

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March 2018

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February 2018

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January 2018

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December 2017

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Employment Law Newsletter

November 2017

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October 2017

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September 2017

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August 2017

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Immigration Newsletter

Summer 2017

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July 2017

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June 2017

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Essential Line Manager Training 2017

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Employment Newsletter May 2017

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April 2017

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March 2017

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Immigration Newsletter

Spring 2017

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February 2017

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January 2017

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Employment Law Training

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Flexible fee arrangements

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Employment newsletter December 2016

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Employment newsletter April 2016

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Employment newsletter March 2016

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Employment newsletter February 2016

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Employment newsletter January 2016

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Employment Newsletter March 2015

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Holiday Pay Audit

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Employment Podcasts

Is Your Solicitor Playing to Win?

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Settlement Agreements: A Guide

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Can an employee enforce a discretionary bonus?

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Dress code : Can employees be forced to wear heels at work?

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