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Rishi Sunak announces the Winter Support Plan

Published 24 September 2020

News 18-24 September 2020

BREAKING NEWS AS WE GO TO PRESS

Rishi Sunak announces the Winter Support Plan which will begin as the furlough scheme ends on 31 October 2020.  Effectively, employees working at least one third of their hours will have their wages topped up to 77% of their total wage with the government contributing 22% of that amount. (1)

The news continues to be dominated by the Coronavirus pandemic but considers a range of other issues.  So as the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces measures to shore up the ‘fragile economy,’ at the same time as the issue of Furlough Fraud is being addressed.  The HMRC estimates that as many as 27,000 ‘high risk’ or fraudulent claims have been made by employers across the UK at a potential cost of £3.5BN to the UK taxpayer. (2)  This is the backdrop against which Boris Johnson begged the nation in his national address on Wednesday 22 September to ‘pull together’ and stick to the rule of six or face the prospects of a second full lockdown.

The Department of Health & Social Care meanwhile has published guidance for employers around handling employee COVID testing. (3) There’s also an attempt to clarify the ‘Special Rules’ on carrying over holidays due to COVID related issues.(4)   The TUC has highlighted the appalling state of the Employment Tribunals Service which is struggling under the weight of new claims to hear applications for 9 months to a year at present.(5)

On a less COVID saturated note, a number of articles this week have focussed on Equality issues.  Firstly, there is the claim of Kristie Higgs, a teacher at Farmor’s School in Fairford Gloucestershire who was dismissed last year after making several posts on Facebook relating to the future teaching of LGBT relationships at school.(6)  However, her claim comes just as a landmark Tribunal ruling recognises the protected status of ‘non binary’ gender identity under the Equality Act 2010. (7)  Staying with the theme of equality, an Insight article looks at the issue of ‘reasonable adjustments’ for people with invisible disabilities such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and ADHD.(8)  Whilst an article by Lus Laboris clarifies the often overlooked issue of ‘menopause’ in the workplace and clearly outlines how it is potentially closely linked to multiple discriminations specifically: sex, age and disability. (9)

Finally, we have an article that considers the data protection issues surrounding the increasing use artificial intelligence.(10)

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For employment law advice or if you are affected or want information and support by any of the issues in this article please give us a call. 0333 772 0611 

 

A reputation built on success

For employment law advice or if you are affected or want information and support by any of the issues in this article please give us a call. 

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