Flexible working and the right to ask: a guide for employers in the UK

This article summarises the right to ask for flexible working in the UK and explains how discrimination law applies in this context. Introduction Employees seeking a better balance between the demands of work and personal life may seek a change in their working arrangements, for example, through part-time working, job-sharing or a change in working hours.   While there is no right to insist on working in…

Detached Workers in the UK and the EU: What's new about social security contributions

In a welcome move last week, the EU notified the UK that all EU countries will apply the ‘detached workers’ exception to UK employees who are temporarily seconded to work in the EU. Similarly, the UK will apply the detached workers exception for EU employees who are temporarily seconded to work in the UK. This article reviews the latest position. Under the Social Security Co-ordination…

Vaccination for COVID-19: can employers in the UK require their employees to be vaccinated?

With a vaccination against coronavirus in sight, many employers will understandably be eager to have their employees vaccinated in hope of their workplace finally returning to some form of normality. This article explores some of the legal issues.  Can employers provide the vaccination to their employees?   The government’s medical experts have published an outline of how any vaccine will be rolled out. It is clear…

Agency workers in the UK and how to engage them

This article looks at the increasing popularity of agency workers in light of coronavirus and the main points that businesses in the UK should consider when seeking to engage them. Agency workers form a growing part of the UK workforce, with many businesses viewing them as a key part of their workforce strategy, particularly as a route to recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19…

Face coverings and the workplace: guidance from the UK

This article discusses the current rules regarding face coverings at work in the UK and some of the practical issues that arise for employers. At the end of August there were reports of a ‘debacle’ on a flight from the Greek island of Zante to Cardiff, which resulted in 193 passengers and crew facing two weeks’ self-isolation. The incident prompts several questions, not just for…

Flexible working post Covid-19 in the UK: sea change or nothing new?

The coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown caused millions to work from home for the first time, an experience likely to cause a surge in requests for flexible working arrangements once most employees are asked to return to the workplace. This article considers the legal position and the practicalities for employers in dealing with flexible working requests. A huge number of employees have been experiencing the…

What COVID-19 immigration arrangements apply in the UK beyond 31 July 2020?

In a last-minute update on 29 July 2020, the UK Home Office pivoted towards a return to business as usual on immigration policy. Some significant concessions remain available until at least 31 August 2020, however there are a number of potential pitfalls for employers and individuals to be aware of. The Home Office’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents contains…

Payback time? Covid-19 pay-related queries that may arise in the UK

As the furlough scheme starts to wind down and redundancies become more commonplace, employers in the UK may face a host of pay-related queries, grievances or claims from employees arising from the workplace upheaval caused by coronavirus. This article discusses some of the main issues concerning pay that employees could raise. Pay reductions Many employers reduced pay and hours in direct response to the decline…

Restructuring the workplace post Covid-19: FAQs for employers in the UK

This article tackles key questions for employers around restructuring as they start to contemplate the end of subsidised furlough in the UK. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme may have been extended to 31 October 2020, but employers should be thinking now about what their workforce might look like following the end of subsidised furlough and a return to more normal working patterns. We set out…

Brexit: what are the consequences for employers?

Following the UK’s departure from the EU on 31 January 2020, this article asks what this means for employers in the transition period and beyond. On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom left the EU following ratification of the withdrawal agreement. Now begins a transitional period, lasting until 31 December 2020, during which European Union law continues to apply. This period can be extended once…