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News 4 - 16 December 2020

Published 18 December 2020
This week is the last full round up of Employment News for 2020.  Without wanting to mumble too many over sentimental platitudes I think its fair to say that this year has been filled with Gremlins, shown us all that its not always A Wonderful Life but no doubt there’s still room for a large brandy and a Christmas Carol to see off the end of the year.

So here’s the news for the last two weeks and we’ll cover the rest in the New Year.

There’s a lot to cover in this edition, so take a moment, sup a Bailey’s if it helps (but not on work time) and consider the end of 2020 before it collapses in 2021.

As usual, we’ll start with Coronavirus stories.  So, do you have to work from home during Coronavirus for starters?(1)  Has the Coronavirus lockdown left you feeling, ‘zoomed out?’  I can’t possibly comment on this for legal reasons. (2)  The TUC highlight’s the disproportionate impact COVID has had on the BME community with an estimated one in three workers having to self-isolate during the pandemic. (3) Further the TUC highlights the additional issues faced by the BME community during the COVID pandemic. (4)  There’s also an article on the prediction that many redundancies during the COVID pandemic will amount to unfair dismissals. (5)

As we approach the Brexit crowning moment, the UK government has started to consider ways to make the UK attractive and competitive to potential future investors, by ‘tinkering’ with existing employment rights.  One obvious move is to remove the constraints of restrictive covenants. (6) There is also a post Brexit proposal for transfer of EU players. (7) 

In other News, there is more information on reasonable adjustments in the workplace. (8) There are two articles relating to Constructive Dismissal, the first where both parties have committed a ‘repudiatory’ breach. (9)  The second is related to a failure to return to work after Maternity Leave. (10)  There is the usual spread of stories steeped in misogyny, from women working for nothing, (11)  to being pushed into poverty for continuing to undertake the role of carers. (12)  Then there’s the hot off the press issue of sexual harassment in the context of remote working. (13) There’s a look at the line between a consensual sexual encounter and misconduct. (14)  On the matter of ‘whistleblowing’ we have an article which considers whether 37 communications amounted to a ‘protected disclosure’. (15)

To close this News Bulletin, the EAT has provided guidance on the rights of agency workers. (16)  The TUPE Kings top five cases of 2020. (17)  We have an article looking at the impact of the Coronavirus on the workings of the Employment Tribunal Service. (18)  Finally, we have the round up of the year. (19)

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone, and consider, in the year when Coronavirus has killed 1,654,087, there is a vaccine in sight, but climate collapse continues to kill an estimated 300,000 people a year.  That number is climbing every year and the TUC is one of very few organisations at least addressing the most fundamental issue of our times. (20)   We’ll be back in 2021.

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