Law at Work - July 2021 – 6 / 6 观点
On 18 June 2021 the Home Office published its updated guidance on employer right to work checks after Brexit. The new rules came in from 1 July 2021 to coincide with the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme. Following this change, employers can't just check an EU citizen's passport to verify right to work as they've always done, so need to understand the new rules.
The Government has recently published a new tool to help expectant parents share time off in the early stages of their baby’s life. It allows them to check their eligibility for Shared Parental Leave and Pay, calculate their pay entitlement as well as downloading all the documents they need to secure leave from their employer. Shared Parental Leave and Pay allows working parents across Great Britain to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay in the first year of their child’s life (or within a year of placement if the child is adopted).
The pandemic required many employers to review their business operating models and some have made use of 'fire-and-rehire' practices where employers dismiss then re-employ workers on changed terms and conditions. Last autumn BEIS asked Acas to carry out an independent review to inform policy thinking. The recently published report which drew on views from a wide range of stakeholders found that "fire and rehire", while not new, had become more common and used in redundancies, harmonising terms, introducing flexibility into contracts and negotiations around organisational responses to changing operational needs. A wide range of views were expressed about the perceived reasonableness or otherwise of the use of fire-and-rehire and strengths and gaps in the existing protections for workers.
Suggested legislative options included: tightening up the law around unfair dismissal; enhancing the requirement and capacity for employment tribunals to scrutinise business’ rationale for change in relevant cases; protecting continuity of employment in fire-and-rehire-scenarios; and strengthening employers’ consultation obligations around proposed dismissals. Suggested non-legislative options included: improved guidance for employers on relevant legal obligations and good practice; using data on fire-and-rehire to inform decisions around public procurement and access to government funding; and publishing ‘name and shame’ data on employers’ use of fire-and-rehire practices on a government website.
The government has responded confirming that it does not accept "fire and rehire" as a negotiation tactic but did also confirm that it would not introduce legislation to prevent it. However it has asked Acas to produce more comprehensive and clearer guidance for employers to encourage good employment practice. It also confirmed that the Government remains committed to increase the period required to break continuity of employment from one to four weeks, so making it harder to end a contract and bring people back quickly on revised terms.
Employee-led data breaches can be accidental, but they also arise out of situations where an individual exploits access rights to sensitive information, often for financial gain. Disclosure of trade secrets feature prominently, as does the sale of access passwords or other data (including customer personal data). There are also cases where the motivation is not financial, but where an aggrieved former or current employee is trying to cause harm to a business or to another employee. We look at the risk of deliberate data breaches by employees and at how to mitigate them in the latest edition of Taylor Wessing's Global Data Hub.
For a summary of the European Commission's proposals for a risk-based approach to regulating the use of AI, and a focus on some of the sectors most likely to be impacted, including HR and employment a recording of our recent webinar is available here.