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News 6 - 13 January 2021

Published 15 January 2021
With the national lockdown down firmly entrenched this weeks news looks at a greater variety of issues affecting employment matters.  The emphasis though has definitely shifted to the impact of the recently negotiated Brexit Trade Deal, a skillful Public Relations exercise little else conveniently reached in time for Santa to do his rounds at Christmas.  Now that the dust (and in many cases the snow) has settled and tired eyes have had a chance to scrutinise the detail of the agreement, a wealth of issues are being discussed…panic is the work which comes to mind.

Concerns raised by some interested parties over a year ago are now expressing themselves in numerous ways, such as the implications for IT in the post Brexit world.(1)    Evershed’s raise their concerns about Employment Rights (or the diminishing lack of) after Brexit. (2) Halborn’s offer a broad look at the variety of issues for consideration as they try to anticipate the employment landscape as a whole after Brexit.(3)   An article in The Canary spells out the importance for particularly younger workers to join Trade Unions in anticipation of the likely assault on employment rights which the UK has enjoyed for many years as consequence of legislation from Brussels; legislation that we will very soon be unable to rely on.(4) 

Of course, COVID is still a hot topic across the new media and so here’s this week’s pick of the best.  As always, the TUC is at the forefront of campaigning to try to ensure government action keeps pace with employee need (which is a tough call since they’ve failed to keep up with COVID despite their medical experts advice!)(5)  They outline the disproportionate risks faced by ‘essential workers’ due to inadequate and outdated Health & Safety legislation. (6) They also raise the issue of the impossible economic choices faced by workers who are forced to ‘shield’ but essentially are  financially penalised for doing so.(7)   Then the government is confused by how the virus continues to spread despite such severe lockdown regulations…I wonder?

Daniel Barnett brings two excellent issues to this weeks news, the first asks, ‘When considering disputes as to which party is an employer, should a tribunal consider a document drawn up without the knowledge of one of the parties?’  The Tribunal decision to this question can be found here.(8)  Personnell Today also report on Daniel Barnett’s article regarding the use of furlough for parents who are forced to stop working due to school closures and the need to home school their children.(9)  

The Last few stories are a rare collection of employment cases of note.  Recent Case Law definesAu Pairs entitlement to the national minimum wage,(10)  an article looks at the unprecedented use of s.44 Employment Rights Act 1996 which various teaching trade unions threatened the government with for trying to force teachers to working environments that were unsafe.(11)  Sky News highlight the increase of anxiety and fatigue amongst parents trying to work from home and home-school their children.(12)   The Zebra Project looks at this same issue in more detail.(13) 

Finishing with more press releases from the TUC, they highlight the need tomato the post COVID economy more fair (14)  and they conclude with a call to arms for all people to be vaccinated in order to control the chaos of COVID.(15)


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