A warm welcome to Blake Morgan’s Winter newsletter, keeping you informed of the latest developments in Employment Law.
It has been an eventful few months, from the election of a new Government in December to the UK’s departure from the EU on 31 January.
There are many significant Employment Law developments on the horizon and in this newsletter, we consider recent developments such as the new Regulations bringing into effect the right to Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay, from 6 April 2020. We also take a look at what the new, additional particulars for Section 1 statements mean for new workers and employees, as well as existing employees, and what employers should be doing now to ensure they are compliant from 6 April 2020.
Looking ahead, our Spring Employment clubs commence in the Cardiff office on 4 March and for details of all the other dates please see here.
I hope you will find all the articles below 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.
What is the new right to parental bereavement leave?
After a ten year campaign by a bereaved parent, a right to two weeks’ statutory parental bereavement leave will be introduced in April. Who is entitled to the leave, when will it be paid and what are the implications for employers? These are just some of the questions considered in our article on this important topic.
Significant Supreme Court decision on whistleblowing
In a whistleblowing case which proceeded through all four tiers of our civil justice system, the Supreme Court held that the employer could be held liable for automatic unfair dismissal following the employee’s previous whistleblowing disclosures, despite the fact that the dismissing HR manager was unaware of those disclosures and dismissed the employee for capability reasons.
What changes do we need to make to our contracts, ready for new starters in April?
The headline changes to Statements of Employment Particulars under Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 from 6 April 2020 are not rocket science – but the devil is most definitely in the detail of the legislation. We look at what the changes mean for “workers”, for new employment contracts as well as existing ones, and where the pitfalls lie.
How should employers manage harassment in the workplace?
There seems to be no end to the high profile allegations of harassment, and in particular, sexual harassment, affecting workplaces of all sizes and across all sectors. Recently published Guidance by the Equality and Human Rights Commission aims to help employers, workers and their representatives to understand the extent and impact of harassment and provides details of good practice for effective prevention.
Covert surveillance and the right to a private life
Covert surveillance in the workplace has always been a thorny issue for employers because of the strict conditions on when and where it can be used. A recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights provides helpful guidance on how to avoid a violation of the Article 8 right to respect for private and family life when installing covert video surveillance in the workplace.
Demystifying data protection around references
The law around references is complex particularly after implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation. What data protection considerations does an employer need to take into account before giving or receiving references, and can references be disclosed under a data subject access request?
What does the right to be accompanied mean in practice?
In the UK, the right to be accompanied has been in force for 20 years, but there is still confusion over the legal right versus best practice. In our article we consider who the companion may be, what happens if they can’t attend a meeting, what they can do and when employers should relax the rules.
Peer review salary setting
Some employers are taking a novel approach by allowing employees to set their own salaries within certain parameters. Whilst this could be a positive step towards pay transparency and in reducing any gender pay gap introducing such a scheme is not without risks.
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