Ashtons HR Employment Law News

Employment Law Update – The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act

Legislation that will improve access to flexible working for employees has completed its way through parliament and has been granted Royal Assent.  Essentially, the key changes are: employees will be able to make two flexible working requests within a yearemployers will be required to deal with requests within two months of a request being m......

How can employers support Ukrainian refugees, and what considerations must they make?

Home Office data suggests more than 53,000 Ukrainian refugees have already travelled to the UK under family and sponsorship schemes. There have been more than 43,000 applications for visas under the Ukraine Family Scheme and almost 90,000 applications for visas under the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme. Both schemes allow successful applican......

Supporting mental health at work

Mental health issues affect one in four people in any given year. An issue can stem from things that have built up gradually over time or could occur suddenly as a result of a specific event in someone’s life. They range from common problems such as depression and anxiety, to rarer issues such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.  Mental he......

Government announces temporary changes to 'Fit Note' rules

We have been made aware of a temporary change to the rules on ‘Fit Notes’ for absent employees which we would like to share with you.What has changed? If an employee is off sick, they would normally need to get a Fit Note from their GP or health professional after seven days of absence in order to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).  As part o......

Right to work checks – an update

Right to Work checks were already a complex area for employers, and the situation became trickier with the arrival of the points based immigration system and the EU Settlement Scheme – click the links to see our articles on these subjects from the end of last year.  This article was originally published in May 2021 but was updated in June 202......

Day-one right to request flexible working consultation confirmed and new entitlements for unpaid carers

On Thursday 23 September 2021 the government published a consultation for laws which will allow employees to request flexible working from day one at a new employer, replacing the current 26-week eligibility period. The consultation, which will run until December 2021, will also consider whether to shorten the three-month response time an employer......

Implications of mandatory Coronavirus vaccination for staff entering care homes – Government guidance published

The information in this article was correct on 6th August 2021.  The section on vaccination exemption was updated on 27th September 2021 in line with new advice from the Department for Health and Social Care. Whilst most employers should still remain cautious about mandatory vaccination for their workforce (see our Coronavirus FAQ’s from earl......

Covid19 Autumn/Winter 2021 Response Published – what are the considerations for employers?

The government has published its ‘Covid19 Response - Autumn and Winter Plan 2021’ which sets out how it intends to respond to Coronavirus over the next few months.  The document outlines ‘Plan A’ as a best case scenario in which the NHS and wider economy is able to continue to operate as it is now, with limited changes to the current restricti......

Should employees working from home take a pay cut?

According to the Mail on Sunday, a cabinet minister recently suggested that civil servants who were now working from home should take a pay cut, due to their reduced commuting costs. According to the source, to maintain homeworking employees on the same pay as their office-based colleagues amounted to an unfair pay rise. Before employers jump on t......

The Queen’s speech – what does it mean for employers?

The Queen’s speech which was delivered at the State Opening of Parliament last week documented what laws the Government intend to introduce over the coming year with a focus on the UK’s post-coronavirus recovery and “levelling up opportunities” across the country. The speech confirmed that the Lifetime Skills Guarantee - which promises flexible ac......

Employment law changes that may progress in 2021

The year 2020 was a challenging one, to say the least, with Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, many proposed employment law changes were delayed but as we start to see light at the end of the tunnel, it’s time to look at which proposals might be included in the Employment Bill 2021 and what employers can do to prepare for these changes. 1. Exten......

Working well after the pandemic

The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) has recently released a report, ‘Flexible Working: Lessons from the Pandemic’ which makes interesting reading for employers and HR professionals alike.  Among its findings, 63% of employers indicated that they planned to introduce or expand ‘hybrid working’ arrangements where employees sp......