19 janvier 2021
Law at Work - January 2021 – 4 de 4 Publications
With the Court of Appeal having recently confirmed that costs alone cannot justify discrimination, employers who refuse applications from foreign nationals on the basis that the cost of sponsoring them is too high, may find themselves on the receiving end of discrimination claims. This is particularly pertinent, given the lowering of the skills threshold under the new immigration system. Vikki Wiberg and Shireen Shaikh consider the issues here.
Although many people are working from home for now, the controversy surrounding COVID testing in the workplace has not receded. If anything, it has intensified with the arrival of the vaccine. Until recently, the issue was, can we test temperatures and how do we process health data in accordance with the GDPR? Now the question has moved on to, can we insist that workers have the vaccination? The government has made clear that it will not make the vaccine compulsory but it does not necessarily follow that employers will follow suit and treat the matter as a purely private concern. There are potential human rights issues here (invasion of privacy), as well as potential infringement of protected beliefs at stake, not to mention the duty of trust and confidence. But employers often adopt policies before the ramifications have been tested in the courts. Interestingly, at least one major employer is reported to have indicated that it will require workers to have COVID tests if they have not had a vaccination. On a related note, another employer using tradespeople has indicated that it will not give work to those who refuse to have a vaccination. Clearly, this is going to become a divisive issue in the workplace and may give rise to a variety of claims.
The UK Government has announced that, with effect from 04.00 on Monday 18 January, nearly all travellers into England, including UK citizens and those on the travel corridor, will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test. The test must be taken in the 3 days before starting the journey to England. Proof of the negative test must be presented prior to boarding. Arrivals without a negative test result may not be able to board their transport and may be fined up to £500 on arrival in the UK. Information about the test can be found here.