Balancing Acts – The Future of Work Report 2023

New challenges, new norms  Our last Future of Work report was written during a period of upheaval, with the Covid-19 pandemic necessitating new ways of working and social movements – including Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, #StopAsianHate and growing climate activism – changing expectations of internal and external stakeholders. Now the pandemic has abated but new … Read more

UK: Court of Appeal rules on Covid-related automatic unfair dismissal claim

Employees can claim automatic unfair dismissal (from day one of employment) where they are dismissed because they left or refused to return to work in circumstances of danger which they reasonably believed to be serious and imminent, and which they could not reasonably have been expected to avert.  In its first Covid-related dismissal case, Rodgers … Read more

US: A High-Profile Year for the WARN Act

Before COVID-19 and the recent layoffs at Twitter Inc., the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, Act maintained a low profile; the act did not garner significant media attention, and cases alleging violations of the act were limited and largely routine. An explanation for this, at least in part, is that the WARN Act … Read more

UK: pandemic-related leave policy was not discriminatory

Employers who put in place advantageous leave policies for those needing to shield or look after children during the pandemic lockdowns will not be liable for discrimination claims just because the policy could have been even more favourable. In Cowie v Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, employees were offered a new type of discretionary paid leave … Read more

Global Employment Risk: An interactive guide

Since the onset of the pandemic, our global employment team has been monitoring the level and changing nature of risks around the world.  Whilst some trends have accelerated i.e. whistleblowing regulations, there are some new and important developments that pose significant employment risks. We have mapped these across the major financial centers using an interactive … Read more

UK: tribunal confirms long Covid symptoms could amount to disability

A recent tribunal ruling serves as a reminder that employers dealing with an employee off sick with ‘long Covid’ should carefully consider whether the individual could be disabled within the statutory definition, bearing in mind evidence that it is common for symptoms to fluctuate and that some individuals do continue to suffer for 12 months. … Read more

UK: first EAT ruling on Covid-related automatic unfair dismissal claim

In its first Covid-related unfair dismissal case, Rodgers v Leeds Laser Cutting, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has clarified when automatic unfair dismissal protection (which does not require the usual two years’ service) will be available where an employee leaves work or refuses to return in circumstances of danger which the worker reasonably believes to be … Read more

Covid-19: new 1 April guidance for employers in England

On 1 April 2022 the UK Health Security Agency published new guidance for employers in England, replacing the previous “Working safely” guidance notes (no longer available).  As set out in the Government’s Living with Covid plan (see our blog post here), Reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in the workplace sets out how … Read more