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News 14 - 25 January 2021

Published 29 January 2021
This week’s News begins with the inauguration of new US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris we will watch to see the impact of their influence on future trade and with it employment relations in the post Brexit UK.

The TUC reports that 70% of working mums requests for furlough payments in order to meet home schooling obligations have been refused by employers. (1)  Fintech Times reports that vaccine reporting software could see a more rapid return to office working. (2)   The Supreme Court has made a ruling on Business Insurance claims as a consequence COVID.(3)   We have an article which questions how ‘short service’ (less than two years continuous employment) can make the enforceability of restrictive covenants’ questionable.(4) On 15/01/2021 ‘The National’ reported on Financial Times sources who had  claimed that the UK government was considering UK protections to labour rights acquired through EU membership.(5)   By Thursday 19/01/21 Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng admitted that the ‘review’ was happening, but announced, “we are not going to lower the standards of workers’ rights”.  And I’m sure based on his Conservative predecessors, our rights are safe.(6)   For the wider implications on employment rights in post Brexit UK we have a more detailed article.(7)   As of writing, the government has announced a U-Turn on this plan.

Brodies provide a detailed article on the role of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority and its role and remit, frequently associated with agricultural work.(8)   Then, lo and behold the most Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Report is released on 18/01/2021 and the financial sector’s filthy laundry is revealed.(9) 

Let’s look at this editions COVID horrors.  Apparently the shift to homeworking could well cost 400,000 high street jobs. (9)   There are calls in the construction industry to halt all ‘non-essential’ work due to the threat of spreading COVID through unwarranted & unnecessary travel.(10)  The Metro reports that now 1 in 5 employers are likely spying on you if you work from home since ‘lockdown’, trust is indeed a beautiful thing.(11)   The TUC highlights the increase in ‘hire and fire’ tactics during lockdown.(12)   They also look at inequality in health and safety regulations application through the COVID lockdown.(13)

There are a significant number of essential discrimination issues to bring to the readers attention.  An excellent article looking at the barriers BAME workers must continually attempt to overcome.(14)    The issue of retrospective claims from the Black Lives Matter demonstrations.(15)   The TUC look at inequality in unemployment through COVID.(16) 

Finally, women who were groomed into prostitution as teenagers are making a High Court bid to have their criminal records quashed.(17)   We have a list of the most important cases on appeal for 2021.(18)  Last of all, the implications for performers who will be affected by the changing immigration arrangements following COVID.(19)

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