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What's happening today in the courts and tribunals?

Litigation as usual: most courts and tribunals are operational during lock down After a few adjustments to accommodate the current circumstances, the courts and tribunals of the UK are continuing to operate as best they can during the coronavirus...

Six lessons from the financial crisis

At Fox Williams, we lived the financial crisis up close and personal. So, what we did learn from that experience that is relevant today? Normal employment laws continue to appl y Don’t tear up the contract Don’t just rely upon...

Arriving in the UK - new quarantine rules finalised

The Home Secretary has confirmed that a 14-day quarantine regime for international passengers arriving in the UK will come into force on 8 June 2020. Under the new regime all those arriving in the UK will be required to: Complete an online locator form...

Coronavirus - how are those who are subject to immigration control affected?

Given the closure of Visa Application Centres and consulates and the quarantine measures affecting ports worldwide, the situation for non UK nationals in the UK who are subject to immigration control is particularly pressing, especially for those who are in...

Immigration update - imposition of quarantine rules

The government has said that the requirement to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the UK will apply to individuals travelling here by any means, including air, ferry or train and includes those returning to or arriving at work in the UK from overseas. ...

10 practical steps to take to reopen offices safely and a brief update on government support schemes

The easing of lock down restrictions in England that came into force this week on Wednesday 13 May has had very little impact so far on the army of lawyers, accountants, consultants, bankers, and other office workers beavering away unseen in their...

Jane Mann interviewed on Radio 4's Today programme

“Employers must take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their employees” Employment partner  Jane Mann  was interviewed on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning by BBC business journalist Dominic O’Connell. ...

Returning to the office: what part will testing for Covid-19 and contact tracing play?

The legal and practical issues relating to testing for Covid-19 and contact tracing are far from straightforward. Here we set out our initial thinking on the key points that employers should incorporate into their planning for the return to the office. ...

The long journey back to normality: what steps do employers need to take to manage a safe return to the office?

As a relaxation of the lockdown comes slowly into view, we consider what measures employers can take to get back to business as usual, whilst protecting staff and managing the health and safety risks involved with coming out of lockdown. Health and safety...

Holiday leave and furlough: is the position now clarified?

Accrual of holiday entitlement whilst on furlough leave under the Job Retention Scheme (“JRS”) After weeks of uncertainty, the position on holiday pay for furloughed workers was finally addressed by government guidance published late on Friday...

What should a financial firm do if an employee goes rogue during lockdown?

It is much harder for regulated firms to ensure that everyone complies with the firm’s internal systems and controls when the entire work force is working from home. So, the risk that an employee will go rogue during lockdown is inevitably much higher...

Working (and not working) from home: post-Easter special - Do's and don'ts for employers and employees

This week, the Fox Williams HRLaw team examines the legal implications of working (and not working) from home and provides guidance for employers and employees on the following issues: An update on the Furlough Scheme Contractual working hours ...

Important Home Office update for sponsorship - good news for those changing employer

The Home Office released a fact sheet for sponsors on 9 April 2020 which, among other clarifications, confirmed that employers can start employing workers in the UK before their Tier 2 or 5 application is approved.  This applies to those simply...

HRLaw news from Fox Williams: Weathering the storm

To assist employers and employees weather the storm, this week we report on the government’s updated guidance on the Job Retention Scheme, consider who is allowed to go to work and who is not, and remind everyone of other employment law changes. ...

Immigration updates during the pandemic - Tier 2 Migrants, furlough leave and other updates

We set out below some of the most common FAQs for employers and visa holders in light of the most recent Home Office updates on the coronavirus pandemic. What should I do if a visa is due to expire soon? Anyone in the UK whose leave expires between 24...

The Senior Managers and Certification Regime: advice on Covid-19 employment issues for financial services firms and professionals

Which Senior Manager is responsible for the Covid-19 response? The FCA has stated that no single Senior Manager is required to be responsible for a regulated firm’s response to the virus. Firms should be allocating the responsibilities in the way...

Adjustments to the UK immigration system during the COVID-19 pandemic

In this update we consider the most recent Home Office guidance, issues that are not yet resolved, and answer some questions frequently being asked by employers. Can sponsored migrant employees be furloughed? Can sponsored employees be placed on unpaid...

More lockdown advice for employers and the self-employed

More information on the Furlough Scheme, help for the self-employed, emergency volunteering leave, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and employers’ questions answered. Last week we set out what we knew so far about the recently announced Job...

Immigration problems affecting employees - the most common questions being asked by employers

The Home Office provided a limited update to its guidance in light of coronavirus on 24 March 2020. Guidance on the broader implications for immigration is expected in the coming weeks. 1.  What should I do if my employee’s visa is due to...

Lockdown advice for UK employers

1.  How does the Job Retention Scheme work and what is meant by the furloughing of employees? 2.  Who are the key workers entitled to send their children to school? 3.  Now that the government has ordered a lockdown, who is allowed to leave...

IR35 reforms to be postponed

Yesterday evening, the government announced that the introduction of the off payroll working rules (the reforms to IR35) in the private sector has been postponed by a year to 6 April 2021 . This is one of a number of measures announced by the...

Fox Williams' response to COVID-19

During this uncertain time, the safety, health and well-being of our people, clients, friends, business partners and the wider community is of utmost importance to us. Our priorities are in line with our firm’s values: to protect our people; to ensure...

COVID-19: the top three questions employers are being asked

As the Coronavirus situation develops, employers are having to deal with the unique challenges it presents in relation to managing their staff. Given the increasing number of cases in the UK, many businesses are understandably wanting to know more about...

The UK's future immigration system - new plans revealed

What does this tell us and what should employers and individuals do now? After many months (even years) of speculation, the government has revealed initial details of what the new points based system will look like when we come to the end of the...

National insurance contributions will be payable on termination payments from 6 April - News Alert

Termination payments that employers make voluntarily to departing employees currently do not attract a national insurance charge. This will change on 6 April 2020 when employer national insurance contributions of 13.8% will become payable on such payments...

Employers must "step up and protect staff from harassment" - new EHRC guidance is calling for change

The #MeToo movement continues to be a high-profile topic.  With increasing scrutiny of employers’ conduct and practice, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has issued new technical guidance to employers ( available here ) on preventing...

MAC Recommendations on a New Points Based System Released

On Tuesday the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) released its report on the introduction of a Points Based System (PBS) and salary thresholds after the end of the Brexit transition period. MAC’s report was in response to the...

Just in case you missed it: new Employment Bill!

It was easy to completely miss the detail in the Queen’s Speech, coming as it did between the Conservative's landslide election victory and Christmas. But it's worthwhile taking a closer look, because buried in the small print are...

Where are we now? Brexit & Immigration

The new Government has signalled that major, if not radical, immigration reform will be announced during 2020, to come into force from 2021.  In this article we consider how immigration is affected, take a brief look at the proposals being put forward...

The ongoing Brexit saga and Right to Work Checks

Updated 30 October 2019 The UK is due to leave the EU by 31 January 2020. If however in the unlikely circumstance that the UK leaves the EU in early 2020 without a deal, only EU nationals (references to EU nationals in this article also includes EEA and...

UK Finance Report on the SMCR - Regulatory references and other tricky issues under the spotlight

Employment partner Jane Mann and financial regulatory partner Peter Wright  comment on a new report published by UK Finance. UK Finance, with the assistance of Ashurst, has published a timely report on the effect of the Senior Managers and...

Is your employment advice really "off the record"? - the decision of X v Y, now on the record as Curless v Shell International Limited ("Shell"), in the Court of Appeal on 2 and 3 October is awaited...

Joanna Chatterton and Parissa Torabi of Fox Williams’ employment team, with Patrick Halliday of 11KBW, are acting for Mr Curless in this important case being heard in the Court of Appeal on 2 and 3 of October 2019. The normal rule is...

Register for our Immigration Webinar, 16 October 2019

Brexit and beyond: the changing immigration landscape for EU and non-EU nationals Fox Williams are delighted to invite you to our immigration webinar on Wednesday 16 October 2019, 12 noon - 1.00pm. This webinar aims to cut through the confusion and...

What about the employees of Thomas Cook?

Can they claim for the debts they are owed following the recent compulsory liquidation? With the sad news that Thomas Cook entered into compulsory liquidation on Monday 23 September 2019, understandably the headlines have focused on the impact of the...

Courting publicity: A cautionary tale with reputational consequences

When Employment Tribunal proceedings become public earlier than expected there can be adverse consequences A recently published case involving a former employee of PwC has thrown the spotlight on the distinction between private and public hearings in the...

Shortage Occupation List expanded - good news for tech companies

Restrictions lifted with immediate effect On Monday 9th September the Government made good on its promise to accept the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)’s recommendation to significantly expand the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).  The MAC...

Off the record, without prejudice and pre-termination negotiations

These terms are often heard when employers seek to bring an individual’s employment to an end. But what do they mean and what practical tips are there for employers? Off the record A conversation that is unofficial, and not to be disclosed or...

Brexit and immigration - do you employ EU nationals or are you an EEA or EU national living in the UK?

What do you need to do now? Head of immigration Sacha Schoenfeld provides guidance Given the recent change in Prime Minister, the increased likelihood of a no deal Brexit on 31 October and the recent announcement that the Government intends free...

Top tips for managing agility in the workplace

With 54% of employees working flexibly in some way last year, more employers are under increasing pressure to adopt agile working practices. Research has shown that it can lead to an increase in employees’ productivity, improved morale and a better...

Reforms to IR35 and taxation of consultants: what steps should you be taking now?

As we reported last year, the Government is introducing fundamental changes to the tax rules (often referred to as IR35) that apply to consultants engaged through intermediaries (such as personal service companies) in the private sector. On Friday 11 July,...

Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd - Chopping not changing

Clarity is the best policy when drafting post termination restrictions Employers can breathe a collective sigh of relief this week as the ongoing saga over the enforceability of post termination restrictions in the case of Tillman v Egon Zehnder has...

Harassment complaints in a post #metoo world: Four key guidelines for conducting an internal investigation

The effect of the #metoo campaign continues to ripple across industries. The recent International Bar Association Us Too publication reported on bullying and harassment within the legal profession and concluded that more than half of legal professionals in...

10 top tips for DSARs: What do employers need to know when responding to Data Subject Access Requests?

We’re now one year on from the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation ( “GDPR” ) and one of the consequences for our clients has been a significant rise in the number of data subject access requests ( “DSARs” )...

Suspending employees: what does HR need to know?

The courts recognise that being suspended from work can have a severe reputational and psychological impact on an employee. The Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Agoreyo v Lambeth BC represents a stark change in attitude in assessing when an...

Consultation on confidentiality clauses in situations of workplace harassment or discrimination - What are your views?

The Government has announced that it is consulting on certain measures to prevent the misuse of confidentiality clauses. This is in response to some recent high profile cases which have given rise to concerns that confidentiality clauses in employment...

Brexit and the changing immigration landscape for EU and non-EU nationals - what should you do now?

Qs and As from the Fox Williams Lexology webinar, 14 February 2019 Thank you for your interest in our webinar with Lexology on 14 February 2019. A number of you raised questions during the webinar and here we have set out below the questions you sent in,...

Agile working policies - top tips for employers

As agile working becomes increasingly commonplace among UK businesses, it is important for employers to be aware of the issues to consider before introducing agile working arrangements. If you are planning to implement agile working policies, here are our...

Love contractually - managing relationships at work

What is a love contract? “Love contracts” are used to protect employers should a romantic relationship arise between two of their workers. They typically take the form of agreements between the amorous couple and the employer which confirm...

The Modern Slavery Act: is your business at risk of failing to comply?

The Home Office is currently issuing letters to organisations registered in the UK that have not yet published anti-slavery and human trafficking statements on their websites. Many businesses who have received these letters were unaware that they might be...

Jane Mann contributing to the use of non-disclosure agreements in discrimination cases inquiry

The Women and Equalities Committee is holding the third evidence session as part of its inquiry into the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in discrimination cases on Wednesday 23 January. The Committee will question legal experts with direct experience...

Bonus awards: Five top tips

Bonus season is looming and with it, the possibility of disgruntled employees challenging the awards they receive, if any. To mitigate against the risk of successful challenges, employers should observe the following top tips when making their awards: 1....

Register for our Immigration Webinar, 14 February 2019

The UK government has clarified the position for EU nationals in the UK and has proposed in its recent White Paper a new system for all EEA and non EEA nationals coming to the UK after the proposed transition period, i.e. from 1 January 2021. In this...

Brief summary of post-Brexit immigration changes

The UK Government has published its long awaited White Paper for a post-Brexit immigration system. The Government has largely accepted the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). These changes will come into effect from the end of the...

Letting your hair down: the many legal pitfalls of the office Christmas party

The office Christmas party looms large in the collective psyche of the workplace, for better or for worse.  The usual clichés of staff misbehaviour are often comical and in most cases written off as harmless fun.  All too often, HR risks...

Hiring EEA and non-EEA employees in a post Brexit world

In the coming months there will be profound changes to the UK’s immigration system. With Brexit fast approaching, the Government is aligning the immigration system to its long term industrial strategy. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which...

Action needed by employers using master trusts

By guest editor Anne-Marie Winton, partner at ARC Pensions Law LLP Employers who use a master trust to provide pensions savings for their employees (often for automatic enrolment purposes) could get a nasty surprise on 1 April 2019, because that is the...

Law firms should now expect the SRA to investigate discrimination claims

The #metoo movement has opened a Pandora’s box for professional services firms.  In the legal profession high profile and public senior departures at Latham and Baker McKenzie demonstrate that firms are responding to pressure to hold their hands...

Use of consultants: how exposed are you under IR 35 or otherwise?

In the Budget on 29 October, the Chancellor announced fundamental changes to the tax rules that apply to consultants engaged through private companies (often referred to as IR 35). There was widespread speculation that the new rules would be implemented as...

Protected conversations - proceed with caution

When should employers use them? ”Protected conversations”, or “pre-termination negotiations” as they are sometimes called, provide both employers and employees with an off the record forum for confidential discussions to explore...

How to have "without prejudice" conversations with employees

For many employers, having a without prejudice discussion with an employee is a convenient way to try to resolve a difficult problem, whether it is dealing with underperformance, a staff member with a grievance, or a tricky redundancy issue.  In...

Improving gender pay gap results - top tips for employers

According to a recent study , the majority of people failed to properly understand published gender pay gap figures. Employers should be using the gender pay gap reporting process as an opportunity to improve diversity and equal pay, to educate their staff...

Fox Williams successfully represents appellant in key decision on legal privilege

In a case where Fox Williams represented the successful appellant, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has made an important decision which calls into question the reliance lawyers and their clients can place in the confidentiality of legal advice. The decision...

Worker status - top tips for employers

It was hard to miss the recent Supreme Court decision in June concerning Pimlico Plumbers in which the Court decided that a plumber, who worked for the company in a purportedly self-employed capacity, was in fact a “worker” and entitled to...

Immigration: What's new for EU nationals - an update on Brexit

Achieving “settled status” in the UK – phased roll-out expected In June 2018 the Government announced further details of the new “settled status” scheme for EU nationals. Whilst these still need to be approved by Parliament,...

Helen Farr quoted in Financial Times: Several fund companies to set up additional offices as part of Brexit contingency planning

Employment law partner  Helen Farr  is quoted in the Financial Times on how Brexit is prompting asset managers to reassess their global distribution strategies in response to Brexit. If you are a registered user, you can read the full...

Is enforcement of employment contracts by way of injunctions impossible?

The purpose of restrictive covenants is well known. Employment contracts are often (or at least should be) carefully drafted to ensure that they protect the legitimate business interests of an employer. Should a wayward employee ignore the restrictions on what they cannot do during and after employment, employers may be able to enforce the employment contract by way of interim injunctions.  However, the recent case of Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd seems to have significantly weakened an employer’s ability to enforce covenants.

GIR Practitioner's Guide to Global Investigation: Employee Rights: The UK Perspective

The second edition of  Global Investigations Review (GIR): Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations  has now been published. James Carlton, Sona Ganatra and David Murphy of Fox Williams’ dispute resolution and employment teams...

Pre-nups and employment: the potential for a royal mess?

While Prince Harry may not have entered into a prenuptial agreement with Meghan Markle, some employers are demanding that new hires do so as a pre-condition of employment. Aside from the complexities surrounding the enforceability of pre-nups, are employers running the risk of discrimination claims from candidates who aren’t willing to enter into one?

New partner and director promotions demonstrate Fox Williams' core values of great client service and its people

City law firm Fox Williams LLP has made two internal promotions to partner. From 1 May, Mary Elliott becomes a partner in the Corporate department and David Murphy becomes a partner in the Employment department.

Investigating sexual harassment in the workplace: top tips for HR

The evidence given recently at the Women and Equalities Select Committee has emphasised the fact that there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with allegations of sexual harassment.  Whilst there are different ways of handling complaints, seeking to...

More than a thousand businesses miss gender pay gap deadline. Jane Mann quoted in HR Magazine

Head of Fox Williams' employment team Jane Mann quoted in HR Magazine. High proportion publish in final hours, revealing 78% of businesses have a gap in favour of men An estimated 1,500 businesses failed to publish their gender pay gaps by the...

Aron Pope quoted in Personnel Today: Employers should have legal duty to prevent sexual harassment

Aron Pope has been quoted in Personnel Today commenting on the recent recommendation from The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) that the Government places a legal duty on employers to take effective steps to prevent sexual harassment, and an...

References - top tips for employers

Recent press reports have concerned employers hiring employees with murky backgrounds, or allowing employees to leave quietly following serious allegations of sexual misconduct. Should this information be revealed during the referencing process? Taking or...

Shared parental leave, paternity, maternity and pregnancy: How to avoid discrimination claims

HRLaw training webinar Thursday 15 March 2018: morning and afternoon sessions Employers are often aware of the legal rights relating to pregnancy and maternity, paternity and shared parental leave, yet recent research found that "one in five...

Recruitment - top tips for employers

Whilst nothing should prevent a business from hiring the best person for the job, recruitment can be a legal minefield for employers. This article highlights the potential pitfalls that an employer faces when it decides to recruit and considers the top...

HRLaw's need to know guide to the GDPR

There are now just over 100 days until your business needs to implement the General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR"). It is becoming increasingly clear that lots of businesses are focussing on the impact of the GDPR on their processing of...

Buying insolvent businesses: the key employment issues

Carillion has fallen over in spectacular fashion. Some fashion brands are teetering on the edge of insolvency after poor Christmas trading, exacerbated by the march of online competitors and the impact of Amazon’s cheaper (cheap, that is, until they...

Update on Brexit and what EU nationals living in the UK should do

Head of the Fox Williams immigration team, partner Sacha Schoenfeld, provides a brief update on Brexit and what EU nationals living in the UK should be doing now. How can EU nationals living in the UK protect their status and residency? Click here to...

Need to know guide: Extending the Senior Managers and Certification Regime to all financial services firms

The Financial Conduct Authority is changing how people working in financial services are regulated. The Approved Persons Regime is being replaced by the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) for all financial services firms, not just banks. This...

Private life at work: how far can an employee's right to privacy restrict your ability to investigate suspected misconduct at work?

A recent case before the European Court of Human Rights ( Barbulescu v Romania ) involved an employee who was dismissed for using his work computer to send personal messages to his brother and fiancée during work time. He was aware that personal use...

Ask Auntie: suspending an employee

Dear Auntie, I am a HR manager and we have an employee who has been accused of assaulting another member of staff at our Christmas party. I am proposing to suspend this employee immediately before commencing an investigation into the allegations. What are...

Does failure to enhance shared parental leave pay amount to sex discrimination?

When shared parental leave was introduced in April 2015 many employers with enhanced maternity pay policies grappled with whether or not they should provide a similar enhancement to shared parental leave pay ( “SPP” ). The particular concern for...

Redundancies: navigating tricky issues

Employers often view redundancy as a relatively simple way of ending employment. However, redundancy dismissals are often deemed to be unfair because employers have overlooked relatively simple requirements or they have been caught-out by a more tricky...

Employment Partner Mark Watson quoted in Drapers on how the Taylor Review may hit zero-hours contracts

Large retailers using temporary contracts or agency staff in their supply chains could face employment law changes brought in by The Taylor Review.  Former Labour party official Matthew Taylor spearheaded the 115-page report, published on 11 July,...

Dress codes in the workplace - handle with kid gloves

Should we have a “bee in our bonnet” about dress codes in the workplace? This should in theory be a fairly straightforward concept, however, the highly publicised case of the female agency worker who was sent home without pay because she...

Ask Auntie - What are the new tax rules for salary sacrifice and termination payments?

Dear Auntie I have a couple of tax-related questions. We offer salary sacrifice scheme for employees so that they can increase pension contributions, take more holiday and access certain flexible benefits. I’ve been told we will need to change this...

Need to know guide: The Modern Slavery Act

By now, nearly all large organisations conducting business in the UK (including overseas entities) should have published their first slavery and human trafficking statement. And for those with a 31 March year end, it is less than three months (30 September)...

Whistle blowing policies - why have them and what to put in them?

Whilst most employers have a staff handbook (or at the very least, a collection of core policies for staff), many have yet to put in place a specific policy about whistleblowing and what employees should do if they discover wrongdoing within their business. ...

Myth buster - giving notice and notice periods

Following on from our look at the top five myths about fixed terms contracts ( available here ), this month we look at some of the common misconceptions about notice and notice periods. The employer can refuse to accept an employee’s resignation. ...

Brexit - what should employers be doing to help their EU nationals?

A lot has happened in politics since the June 23 rd Referendum, but there has been considerable inaction on the issue of EEA nationals living and working in the UK. Despite this, employers can be taking steps to increase the chances that employees who...

GDPR: what should HR be doing and how can we help?

There is a lot to do to prepare for the introduction of the GDPR. In many organisations, HR is taking the lead in managing the process of achieving compliance by May 2018. Read our Top tips for HR on GDPR here .  ...

Brexit Survival Guide

Are you an EEA national living and working in the UK and concerned about Brexit and what this may mean for you and your family? Read our Brexit Survival Guide  for individuals, families and employers....

Court of Appeal decides employers must make more effort with subject access requests

Back in November 2015 we reported in our HRLaw newsletter that the High Court decision in Dawson-Damer v Taylor Wessing brought cautious optimism for data controllers when the judge refused to make an order for compliance with three subject access...

Ask Auntie: Can I enforce my restrictive covenants?

Dear Auntie I run a chain of bakeries and six months ago I bought a bakery business from one of my major competitors, Baking Bad. I paid a lot of money for the business and didn’t want the previous owner of Baking Bad, Ms Patty Cake, to set up a...

Social media - what's your policy?

Social media is increasingly becoming an issue for employers due to its evergrowing popularity and inclusion in people’s personal and professional lives. Whilst social media is without doubt a valuable tool for businesses, it can also be a headache for...

Dos and don'ts when recruiting

Recruitment can be a legal minefield for employers. Job applicants are protected from discrimination on grounds of sex, race, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation and age. The protection provided by the Equality Act applies in respect of the...

Five myths about fixed-term employment contracts

When used correctly, fixed-term employment contracts are an effective tool for matching staffing levels with the needs of the business. However, there are some surprising myths about fixed-term employment contracts that can lead even seasoned HR...

Ask Auntie: Do compliance officers benefit from whistle blowing protection?

Dear Auntie We have just announced bonuses for 2016, and our Head of Compliance is complaining that his bonus is lower than it should be. He believes this is because he “blew this whistle” about various regulatory breaches when he gave his...

Gender Pay Gap Reporting and the Diversity Agenda Webinar - Wednesday 14 December 2016

Fox Williams Partner Audrey Williams  and Aon Hewitt Associate Partner Andrew MacLeod, provide an update on the Government's mandatory Gender Pay Gap Reporting regulations. They reflect on the final laid regulations , the legislative process and...

Gender Pay Reporting: the Final Regulations

At long last we have the final Gender Pay Reporting Regulations, due to be implemented by 6 th April 2017. The final Regulations are significantly different from the original draft proposals. Many organisations will have begun analysing their gender pay...