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Returning to the Workplace in the UK: Key Issues for Employers

As the UK Government works through its phased COVID-19 recovery strategy and lockdown restrictions are progressively eased, employers in the United Kingdom are contemplating the implications of returning staff to the workplace. In this article, we address some of the key issues for employers to consider, with a particular focus on the UK Government’s “Covid-secure” workplace guidance. The issues raised in this article are subject to any local requirements that may apply in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Access the full article.

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UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Significant Developments

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has issued its sixth update to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Guidance (Guidance). Separately, the UK Treasury has issued a Treasury Direction (Direction) to HMRC setting out the legal framework for the Scheme. There are few points that have been clarified in the Guidance, but there is one glaring inconsistency between the Guidance and the Direction that will be of understandable concern to employers – the requirement that there is a written record of the furlough arrangement. Access full article here.

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Brexit Update: Effects on Employment

The United Kingdom is no longer a member of the European Union and has entered into a transition period until December 31 2020, unless an extension of 1 or 2 years is agreed by July 1 2020 (the Brexit Long Stop Date). During this transition period, the UK will continue to trade with the EU in much the same way as it did before its exit. Negotiations will take place throughout this year to determine the future permanent relationship between the UK and the EU. The UK's Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has repeatedly stated that the transition period will not be extended beyond the end of this year. This is an ambitious deadline to reach a comprehensive agreement with the EU and the possibility of a "no deal" Brexit remains an event for which companies should prepare. Against this backdrop, this update summarises the current status of the UK's relationship with the EU and sets out some of the key legal implications associated with a "no deal" scenario for certain...

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Responses to Gender Pay Inequity: A Quick World Tour

Most major jurisdictions have pay equity laws, but their approach is far from uniform. Global companies need to evaluate compliance with these laws on a country-by-country basis whilst simultaneously addressing their compensation policies globally. A sample of the rules across several countries helps to identify trends that can drive effective global policies. Australia The Australian Workplace Gender Equality Act of 2012 mandates equal pay for equivalent or comparable work. There are annual reporting requirements for employers with 100 or more employees. Those reports must include the following indicators: gender composition of the workforce, gender composition of governing bodies, and equal compensation between men and women. Employers are penalised by being publicly named if they fail to lodge a public report on time, or inform employees or other stakeholders that a public report was lodged, or give the requested compliance data under the Act. Canada The...

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Brexit Update: The Effect of Brexit on Data Transfers between the United Kingdom and the European Union

With the United Kingdom having voted to leave the European Union (Brexit) on 23 June 2016, the free flow of personal data between the United Kingdom and EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries is at risk. Should the United Kingdom also leave the EEA and thus become a “third country” for the purposes of data transfers, EU/EEA businesses that are currently retaining UK service providers or data centres to handle or store personal data, or are planning to do so, would have to carefully re-evaluate this decision. Read the full article here.

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Qualifying Period for Unfair Dismissal of Employees in the UK to Increase to Two Years’ Continuous Service from April 6, 2012

by Katie L. Clark What is changing? From April 6, 2012, the length of continuous service needed by an employee in the UK to qualify: To bring a standard unfair dismissal claim; and To request a written statement setting out the reasons for his/her dismissal will increase from one year to two years.  Will this affect existing employees? The new two year qualifying period will apply to an employee who commences work on or after April 6, 2012. Employees who are already in employment on April 5, 2012, will not be affected by this change.  They will still be able to bring a claim of standard unfair dismissal if they have at least one year’s continuous service. Employees who transfer to a new employer under TUPE after April 6, 2012, but who were employed by the transferor prior to April 6, 2012, will also be covered by the one year service threshold for standard unfair dismissal. What about employees who are currently being recruited? An...

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