Welcome to the latest edition of Frontline UK.

Our feature article, written by Kate Hurn, takes a look at steps employers can take, amidst the global outbreak of COVID-19, to protect and reassure their employees, and ensure they understand their legal obligations.

Our immigration feature, written by Yuichi Sekine, covers the wave of change coming for UK employers seeking to employ non-UK nationals from January 2021.

Our case updates cover an Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling on the interpretation of "long-term" effect of a disability under the Equality Act; a Court of Appeal confirmation on whistleblowing and employer's rights to defend their reputation against bad publicity; a Court of Appeal confirmation on maternity and shared parental pay enhancements; an Employment Appeal Tribunal decision on worker status; and a Court of Appeal decision on reasonable adjustments.

Finally, there's a new video on Interview Notes up on our HR Data Essentials site. See below for more details.

How UK employers can prepare for Coronavirus in the UK 

The outbreak of COVID-19 in China has sparked fears of a worldwide pandemic. At the time of writing, the majority of cases are concentrated in China, Japan and South Korea but the recent outbreak in Italy means the risk now feels much closer to home. Understandably, this may be creating concern amongst your workforce, particularly where staff are required to travel internationally to carry out their roles. This month we take a look at the steps employers can take to protect and reassure their employees and ensure they understand their legal obligations.

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R Data Essentials -  new video

Check out our new HR Data Essentials video, where Associate Stephanie Creed gives an insightful overview on interview notes.

Click here to view >>

Click here to view our HR Data Essentials site. 


Immigration Update

Important changes for UK employers seeking to employ non-UK Nationals from January 2021

A wave of change is coming for UK employers seeking to employ non-UK nationals from Jan 2021

The Home Office has published its much awaited policy statement on the government's plan for a new points-based immigration system, which is expected to take effect from 1 January 2021. The statement has very significant ramifications for employers wishing to hire employees from the EU: they will need to take action now to ensure they are prepared for these changes.

Click here to view >>


Case Summary

Interpretation of "long-term" effect of a disability under the Equality Act

Tesco Stores Ltd v Tennant UKEAT/0167/19/00

The Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") has held that to claim disability discrimination, a claimant must show that their condition had a "long-term effect" at the time of the alleged acts of discrimination.

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Employer not liable for damage to whistleblower's reputation caused by attempts to "set the record straight"

Jesudason v Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust [2020]

The Court of Appeal ("CA") has rejected an employee's claim that his former employer's attempts to publicly "set the record straight" about his allegations amounted to detrimental treatment on the ground that he had made protected disclosures.

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Confirmed: employers can enhance maternity pay and not shared parental pay

Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police v Hextall

In a decision previously reported here, the Court of Appeal ("CA") held that it is not discriminatory for an employer to pay enhanced maternity pay to women on maternity leave and not to enhance pay for shared parental leave. The Supreme Court has now refused permission for a further appeal, meaning that the CA's decision remains binding, providing welcome clarity and certainty for employers.

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EAT decides that limited substitution right does not preclude worker status

Stuart Delivery Ltd v Mr Warren Augustine UKEAT/0219/18/BA

In another decision on worker status, the Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") has decided that a courier's right of substitution was fettered and therefore did not undermine the Tribunal's finding that the claimant courier was a worker. Consequently he was entitled to bring claims for unlawful deductions from wages, holiday pay, breaches of minimum wage legislation and the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000.

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Reasonable adjustments: a one-off decision is not a provision, criterion or practice

Charles Ishola v Transport for London [2020] EWCA Civ 112

When bringing a claim of indirect discrimination or failure to make reasonable adjustments for a disability, the claimant must show that the employer operated a provision, criterion or practice ("PCP") that put them at a particular disadvantage when compared to someone who is not disabled. The Court of Appeal ("CA") has decided that a one-off act or decision, such as a failure to investigate a grievance, will not necessarily amount to a PCP.

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