Employment

UK: Supreme Court upholds appeal in claim against Morrisons: employer not vicariously liable for employee’s data breach

Today the Supreme Court allowed an appeal in Morrisons v Various Claimants[1], a significant judgment addressing the extent of an employer’s liability for data breaches maliciously committed by an employee. The Supreme Court held that: The earlier judgments of the High Court and Court of Appeal had misunderstood the principles governing vicarious liability. In particular, the judgment in Mohamud[2] was not intended to change the law on vicarious liability. The correct interpretation of the “close connection” test is that an employer will only be vicariously liable for the wrongful acts of an employee where the wrongful conduct is so closely …

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Government publishes detailed guidance on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and details of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme and announces relaxation of holiday carry-over rules

On 26 March the Government published more detailed guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) originally announced on 20 March. The CJRS is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). Under the CJRS, UK employers with a PAYE payroll scheme as at 28 February 2020 will be able to ‘furlough’ employees (ie place them on leave of absence) and claim from HMRC a grant of 80% of their monthly wage cost, up to a maximum of £2,500, plus the associated employer National Insurance Contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions. The guidance …

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Government suspends gender pay gap reporting requirement for this reporting year

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) announced yesterday, 24th March, that they have taken the decision to suspend enforcement of the gender pay gap deadlines for this reporting year (2019/20). The decision means that employers will not be required to report their 2019 data by the 30 March public sector deadline and 4 April private sector deadline.

Regular update on COVID-19 developments for employers

This page will be regularly updated with the latest developments impacting on UK employers seeking to manage the impact of the Coronavirus crisis on their workforce. For information on lock-down and business closures: Organisation Guidance Date Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Guidance: Further businesses and premises to close March 2020 N/a Full guidance on staying at home and away from others March 2020 Gov.uk https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus Ongoing For information on the Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme: Organisation Guidance Date HMRC Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 26 March 2020 HMRC Self-employment Income Support Scheme 26 March 2020 Public …

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Government measures to protect jobs and incomes

On 20 March 2020, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced details of a package of measure to protect jobs and incomes against the negative economic impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Government is implementing a “Coronavirus job-retention scheme” under which it will help to pay staff wages.  According to the Chancellor’s announcement – All employers will be eligible to access the scheme Employers should contact HMRC to apply for a grant Grants will be paid to cover the wages of individuals placed on furlough but not “laid off” (by which we assume the Chancellor means not made redundant) and kept …

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IR35 reforms to private sector postponed until April 2021

In unexpected, but almost certainly welcome news for businesses, the Government announced last night that it is postponing until 6 April 2021 its reforms to IR35 in the private sector, which were due to come into force on 6 April 2020. This news has come just a matter of weeks after the Government reviewed the implementation of the rules and announced that they would still take effect from April 2020. It is clear that the impact of the Coronavirus crisis has now caused the Government to reconsider. Speaking in the House of Commons, Stephen Barclay, Chief Secretary to the Treasury …

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New employment details to be given to April 2020 new starters

When the Government published proposals in its December 2018 Good Work Plan to extend the employment information which must be provided to employees, the implementation date felt like a long time off.  However, it is suddenly looming close and employers must ensure they are prepared and  able to provide the information to any new recruits who start work on or after 6 April 2020. In addition, to add to employers’ burdens, for the first time, the information must also be given to workers, requiring businesses to assess whom in the workforce may be eligible to receive the extended particulars. The …

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UK: Be Aware: IR35 implementation review confirms April 2020 start date

  With weeks to go until the new IR35 rules come into force, the government has released the findings of its off-payroll implementation review, confirming that the off-payroll rules for the private sector will go ahead as planned on 6 April 2020. A few minor changes, which had already been announced, are clarified in the review report. The main points to note are: The government’s only significant concession is to introduce a light touch approach to penalties for the first year of operation. Fines will not be issued in the first year unless HMRC suspects tax evasion or abuse of …

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Government publishes new immigration regime proposals

On Wednesday 19 February 2020, the UK government  published a policy paper setting out its plan for the new UK immigration system for skilled migration. For those who sponsor individuals, key points are: As expected, the government will scrap the resident labour market test (RLMT) and the current cap on skilled worker visas. It will lower the skill threshold for sponsorship from RQF Level 6 (equivalent to degree level) to RQF Level 3 (equivalent to A-Levels). The government will maintain the Immigration Skills Charge and Immigration Health Surcharge. Self-employed individuals will not be permitted to apply under this route. Instead …

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The final countdown: Navigating the EU Settlement Scheme

21 January marks 10 days until Brexit. On 9 January, the Withdrawal Agreement finally passed through Parliament, without much fanfare, by 330 votes to 231 and now Brexit has been fixed for 31 January 2020. The enactment of the Withdrawal Agreement provides a fixed timeline for EU nationals and their family members to apply for the right to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). To mark 10 days until Brexit, here are ten things you should note about the EUSS and its impact on your EU national workforce: The EUSS app is available for Android and …

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Immigration update following UK election result

The Boris Johnson immigration tag line has long been that under his leadership the UK will have an “Australian-style Points Based System”. Now the election results have been counted and it has been confirmed that Boris will continue his tenure in 10 Downing Street, what can be expected from an “Australian-style points based immigration system” if replicated in the UK post-Brexit in January 2021? The Conservative manifesto was vague when it described what UK businesses could expect from a new immigration system once the Brexit transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020.  The previous Immigration White Paper …

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Lisa Roberts joins Employment Team in London

The battle lines have been drawn in the UK general election with Brexit and also the wider immigration system being high on the political agenda. Navigating clients through Brexit-immigration queries, speaking with knowledge and skill about the impact of election promises and leading clients into a post-Brexit immigration system will be an essential services to provide to clients to assist them with reaching their desired business objectives as well as retaining talent within the UK. Lisa Roberts has joined our London office and is an immigration expert with extensive immigration experience advising some of the world’s largest corporations on their …

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Tribunal finds workers, not just employees, are covered by TUPE

London Central employment tribunal has handed down a judgment in a TUPE case which, whilst not binding, is potentially hugely significant for employers. In Dewhurst and ors v (1) Revisecatch Limited t/a Ecourier (2) City Sprint (UK) Limited the tribunal was asked to determine the novel point whether the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) apply to so-called ‘limb b’ workers within s.230(3)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ie an individual who has entered into or works under a contract whereby the individual undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services for another party …

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Supreme Court holds that district judge is not a worker for the purposes of whistle-blowing protection but is entitled to bring a claim

The Supreme Court has decided unanimously in Gilham v Ministry of Justice that a district judge is not a worker for the purpose of the protection given to whistle-blowers under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA), but that she could nevertheless bring a whistle-blowing claim. Under s.230(3) of the ERA, a worker is defined as “an individual who has entered into or works under… (a) a contract of employment or (b) any other contract, whether express or implied and (if it is express) whether oral or in writing, whereby the individual undertakes to do or perform personally any work or …

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Global Climate action protests – how can employers strike the right balance?

On 20 and 27 September 2019, millions of people across the globe are expected to take part in strikes in an effort to ask politicians to increase action on the climate crisis. The proposed strike action has been called by Global Climate Strike, an environmental group born out of the international school strike movement inspired by the young Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg and there have been calls for employees to leave their workplaces to join other strikers in voicing their concerns. For some companies, the planned protests are being viewed as supportive of their values and branding, and as such they …

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