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News 7 - 13 November 2020


Fri 13 November, 2020

This week as the second lockdown picks up steam, we’ll look at more Coronavirus focussed stories but with the usual scattering of other employment tales of note.

First off the mark is a story in The National looking at the application of the extended furlough scheme and its disproportionate impact on ‘ordinary’ workers.(1)  The Scottish Herald looks at the issue of ‘presenteeism,’ the pressure workers feel to be present at their designated place of work despite government advice for workers to remain home-based wherever possible.(2)  Shoosmiths also touch on this issue but from the perspective of mental health issues subsequent to working from home.(3)   Denton’s this week highlights the case of Quantum Advisory Ltd v. Quantum Actuarial LLP [2020] EWHC 1072 in the High Court which looked the validity of Restrictive Covenants in Service Agreements.(4)  Solicitors, Kings Naples, takes a cursory look at the shambolic reality of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).  SSP has generally been viewed as a payment reserved for workers in lower paid jobs.  The shielding/self-isolating rules applied under the lockdown have shown workers in sectors never usually exposed to such a feeble payment how impossible it is to try to live on in SSP in the twenty-first century.  In fact, its more likely to make you feel even more ill.(5)  An article by Brodies examines the rolling issue of ‘shielding’ specifically, in the workplace and even the differences between Scotland and England.(6) 

Shoesmith’s Quarterly Employment Update covers important Case Law on: Unfair Dismissal - Re-engagement Orders, ‘reputational damage’, Trust & Confidence dismissal, and two discrimination cases which have more closely defined gender and disability definitions.(7)  Bird & Bird’s Edition 8 Employment Law Update highlights: an employment tribunal awarding legal costs to an employer of £432,000, the employment status of ‘cycle couriers’ and age discrimination amongst other cases we’ve previously covered.(8)   We also highlight a recent EAT case which determined that the ACAS Code of Practice applies in ‘whistleblowing’ claims.(9)    

An article in CMP reflects on the prediction of the 2020’s being the Age of Employee Activism.(10)   The ‘skilled worker route’ comes into effect on 01/12/20, information to be found here.(11)  On a brighter note (because it's always good to try to find one at the moment) Care workers wages are actually rising faster than the rate of inflation, though the effects of Brexit and COVID, remain to be seen.(12)  

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