Employment Law Newsletter – Spring 2023

19th May 2023

It’s been another busy few months and we have some great team news too.

Last week’s headlines were dominated by the announcement that the sunset clause will be removed from the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. The announcement was welcomed and criticised by many.

There are other important developments that employers and HR professionals need to be aware of. Take a moment to consider the articles in this Spring newsletter, where we provide an update on a range of topics including the recently published guidance about ethnicity pay reporting and the findings of a survey about the impact of long COVID in the workplace.

Sunset clause removed from the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill

The Bill has been dominating the headlines ever since it was published in September 2022. However, taking a different approach, the Government recently announced it will remove the sunset clause from the Bill and prepare instead a Schedule of the retained EU laws that it intends to revoke at the end of 2023.

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Ethnicity pay gap guidance published

The Government has decided against introducing mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting for employers, preferring that they take a voluntary approach. To assist employers, guidance has been published explaining how to measure, report on and address any ethnicity pay differences within their workforces and there is also advice on collecting ethnicity pay data and understanding the underlying causes of any disparities.

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Employee’s poor conduct and short temper were not due to his disability

The EAT recently upheld an Employment Tribunal’s decision that an employee’s poor and inappropriate conduct and short temper were not something arising in consequence of his disabilities for a claim for discrimination arising from disability under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010.

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Long Covid: many workers have faced unfair treatment at work

The TUC and Long COVID Support Employment Group (LCSEG) recently published the results of their survey about workers’ experience of long COVID. Many had experienced unfair treatment at work including bullying and harassment with some even losing their jobs for reasons connected to long COVID and others were not given the reasonable adjustments they needed to come back to work or to manage their job.

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What is CV Fraud and what are the consequences?

CV fraud is where a job applicant provides false information or overstatements on their CV. This can range from minor alterations of job titles and extra-curricular activities to providing false qualifications and experience. For employers, there is the risk of reputational harm and financial loss while for the individual dismissal from employment.

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Strike out of Employment Tribunal claims: EAT provides useful guidance

Employment Tribunals have wide-ranging powers to strike out a claim or response (or part of it) at any stage of the proceedings. Two recent EAT decisions illustrate the grounds that apply when considering an application for strike out.

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Review to boost the employment prospects of autistic people

People with autism have particularly low employment rates and the Government recently announced a review designed to boost the employment prospects of autistic people. The focus of the review will be on supporting employers to recruit and retain autistic people and reap the benefits of a neurodiverse workforce.

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Menopause: How can employers support their staff?

The Government announcement that menopause would not become a new “protected characteristic” under the Equality Act 2010 was disappointing for those who had campaigned for change. Many employers however are choosing to proactively support their staff during the menopause by introducing a range of measures.

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The Spring Budget: a time to re-think group life assurance design for employers

The Spring Budget included an announcement that the pensions “Lifetime Allowance” which is the cap on tax relievable lifetime pensions savings in the UK would be abolished from 6 April 2023. This may result in significant changes in the risk and reward industry relating to the provision of group life assurance benefits to employees.

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Significant employment changes likely as Private Members’ Bills progress

The Government is supporting a number of Private Members’ Bills which will introduce new employment rights such as neonatal care leave and pay and carer’s leave as well as extending existing rights, for example, in relation to the right to request flexible working. Whilst implementation is not imminent, employers need to be aware of these developments and the implications they will have for HR policies and procedures.

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Team news

Finally, I am delighted to inform you that Employment Partner Rajiv Joshi has been named as a Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyer in 2023, the second year in a row he has received this accolade.

Rajiv was independently nominated for the prestigious award through a global survey of in-house counsel, which is aimed at highlighting stellar performances from lawyers who are recognised for their high quality of work and business and commercial awareness. This is fantastic news and very well- deserved. Congratulations Rajiv.

I hope you will find all the articles above informative and helpful, and if you would like any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch with your usual Blake Morgan contact.

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