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April 2021

Right to work checks: End to temporary Covid-19 measures

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During the covid-19 pandemic, temporary measures had been put into place by the Home Office from 30 March 2020 whereby right to work check could be carried out via video conferencing with the applicant or worker to then send a scanned copy or a photograph of the documents by email or a mobile phone app to the employer. They were not required to send in the originals.

 

When the temporary arrangements were initially introduced, it was stated that additional checks would be required within 8 weeks of the temporary measures coming to an end. It has now been confirmed by the Home Office that these additional checks will not be required and that there will be a statutory defence against civil penalties provided the check was done in the prescribed manner or in line with the Covid-19 adjusted checks guidance.

 

This temporary arrangement will come to an end on 16 May 2021 and, thereafter, employers must:

  • Check an applicant’s original documents; or,
  • If the application has provided a share code, then can check right to work online.

 

For further guidance on this, employers should contact the Home Office or a specialist in immigration.

Dismissal of a Bus Driver for hitting cyclist is deemed fair by the Employment Tribunal.

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Mr Sam Beech was employed by Lothian Buses as a Bus Driver until he was dismissed on 27th September 2019 for hitting a cyclist.

 

Mr Beech had been driving his bus on 21st September 2019 when a cyclist hit his outside mirror. Mr Beech sounded his horn which then led the cyclist to move in front of the bus whilst swearing and making obscene gestures. Following this, the bus then hit the cyclist and he fell from his bike. Mr Beech called the emergency services and the Respondent’s control room however he did not disembark from the vehicle for 9 minutes and, even when he did, he proceeded to take pictures of the bicycle prior to checking the welfare of the cyclist.

 

An investigation meeting was held on 23rd September 2019 during which an accident report was completed, and Mr Beech was suspended for careless and reckless driving. He was subsequently dismissed on 27th September 2019, a decision which was upheld on appeal. Mr Beech argued that the cyclist had been under the influence of alcohol and that he did not have lights on his bike. Lothian Buses did not wait for the police report before making their decision, but Mr Beech argued that the police deemed he was not blameworthy for the accident.

 

It was noted by the Employment Tribunal that Lothian Buses had failed to contact the police during the investigation, it was found that the dismissal was fair in the circumstances and that Mr Beech had been dismissed for his conduct. Mr Beech argued that a final written warning would have been an appropriate sanction, but the Employment Tribunal did not accept that argument and deemed that the dismissal was within the band of reasonable responses. It was concluded by the Tribunal that “The respondent had a genuine belief that the claimant had acted in a dangerous and unacceptable manner and given the nature of the claimant’s duties where he worked unsupervised and was required to ensure the safety of passengers and other road users, the decision to dismiss the claimant was a reasonable one.”

 

Call us for advice on 01422 822842.

India added to the list of banned countries.

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Due to rises in a new variant strain of Covid-19, India will be added to England’s red list (banned countries), at 4am on Friday 23 April 2021.  This applies to those leaving India directly or passing through India within 10 days of their anticipated arrival in England.

 

As the list changes regularly, please view the “red list” directly using the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transport-measures-to-protect-the-uk-from-variant-strains-of-covid-19

 

Those who hold residency rights (including long-term visa holders), will be permitted to return to England but will be required to:

  • Arrive in a designated airport;
  • Self-isolate in a government-approved hotel quarantine facility for 10 days;
  • Take covid tests before day 2 and on or after day 8 of their arrival – the Test to Release scheme is not available to those arriving from India.

 

For specific entry to the UK guidance, please visit gov.uk.  Should you have related HR issues, please do not hesitate to contact your Advisor.

*NEW TRAINING COURSE* Grievance training… complimentary for all of our subscribed clients.

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We have responded to what our clients want us to deliver and here it is. This brand new session highlights the formal and informal process steps, essential ingredients and the quirks of grievances.  This session will broaden understanding of the importance of the grievance process and how to get it right first time every time. Ideal for business owners and anyone else who is involved in managing people.

It is being delivered on Microsoft Teams for the first time on Tuesday 11th May 10.00am to 12.00 by Senior Consultant Emma Baker.

To book your place, please request a training booking form fromrachelh@elcons.co.uk complete it and return it to Rachel.

Non clients can request to attend at a cost, so please speak to Johanna on 01422 822842 or johannam@elcons.co.uk for further details.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Immigration and UK Visa queries – Key Contact

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As you are aware, immigration queries are outside of our remit, therefore we hope that if applicable to you, you may find the information below of use.

 

For guidance on immigration issues, UK Visas and Immigration’s contact centre or Business Helpdesk may be able to advise you on your query. For general immigration enquiries, you can call the UKVI contact centre on 0300 123 2241. The Business Helpdesk service supports UK businesses in need of information concerning current sponsorship and employee applications made in the UK. It will also be able to assist with answers to non-hypothetical, complex queries such as interpreting Home Office guidance or unusual immigration circumstances. It can be contacted via email: businesshelpdesk@homeoffice.gov.uk or telephone: 0300 123 4699. The helpline is open Monday to Thursday, 9.00 am to 4.45 pm and Friday, 9.00 am to 4.30 pm.