Dated updated:

Morrisons, the supermarket, has recently announced that it will be cutting sick pay for unvaccinated employees who need to self-isolate. Current Government guidance exempts double vaccinated individuals from the requirement to self-isolate when notified that they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The guidance requires those who are unvaccinated, or have only received one dose, to self-isolate when notified to do so. Morrisons announced the measure as a way to curtail the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the supermarket chain experience a drop in its profits. The policy change has prompted some employers to consider whether they can follow in Morrisons footsteps.

This article considers the key issues and risks in adopting this approach to sick pay for unvaccinated staff.

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Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, has raised concerns about the use, or rather misuse, of Non-disclosure agreements (“NDAs”) within the higher education sector. In the wake of testimonies published on Everyone’s Invited, there is evidence that NDAs have been used to prevent disclosures relating to sexual assault and harassment cases within universities. The Office for Students has already instructed universities to review how they manage complaints of sexual assault, misconduct and harassment. Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, has raised concerns about the use, or rather misuse, of Non-disclosure agreements (“NDAs”) within the higher education sector. In the wake of testimonies published on Everyone’s Invited, there is evidence that NDAs have been used to prevent disclosures relating to sexual assault and harassment cases within universities. The Office for Students has already instructed universities to review how they manage complaints of sexual assault, misconduct and harassment.

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This statutory document applies to schools in England only. Welsh schools have been excluded from updates since 1st September 2019 and schools in Scotland have never been within scope.

As a reminder, STPCD applies to all maintained, foundation and aided schools. There is no requirement for this to apply to Academies, although these provisions would normally transfer for TUPEd staff and in practice many Academies and MATs choose to be bound by it for new appointments.

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The deadline for all private and voluntary sector employers (who have 250 or more employees) to report their gender pay gap information has now passed. Employers had until 4 October 2021 to publish their gender pay gap information for the reporting year 2020-21; this deadline was delayed by several months in light of the continuing effects of the pandemic. For those employers who have not yet published their gender pay gap information, there is a risk that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) may take enforcement action against them.

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The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Standards (‘DBEIS’) recently published a fresh consultation on flexible working practices in the UK. The Consultation has made national headline news, and has brought flexible working policies to the attention of employees across the UK. Below we have summarised what employees need to know about the key aspects of the Consultation.

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The shortage occupation list comprises of skilled jobs which the UKVI consider there to be a shortage of workers in the UK. The benefit of a sponsored role falling on the shortage occupation list is that the applicant can qualify for a lower salary threshold and lower visa application fee when applying for their Skilled Worker visa.

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This academic year there is an additional bank holiday to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on Friday 3rd June 2022. The School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (‘STPCD’) confirms that teachers will teach one less day for the academic year 2021/22. Schools need to ensure that all staff including term time only and part time staff have the benefit of the additional bank holiday, whether it falls in term time or half term.

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