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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.

IR35 – check your contracts

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Originally scheduled for implementation in April 2020, this was bound over to now take effect on the 6th April 2021.  Changes to the off-payroll tax legislation require you to identify self-employed consultants who offer their services through a limited company (personal service company) to your company.  Please defer to the government online tools to determine if you have an obligation as a company to deduct income tax and national insurance contributions at source when paying the contractor https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-status-manual/esm11000

You will also need to make clear in all consultant contracts whether the relationship falls inside or outside IR35. The changes will only affect medium to large companies, and it has been indicated that similar criteria as used in the Companies Act 2006 will be applied to define a medium/large business, which broadly indicates that a company will fall into this category if it has two or more of the following:

  • a turnover of more than £10.2m;
  • a balance sheet total of more than £5.1m;
  • 50 employees or more.

Asda – Equal Pay – Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court has given a judgement in favour of Asda workers allowing them to continue with their equal pay claims. The workers argued that they should be entitled to compare themselves with distribution staff when considering equal rates of pay. The Supreme Court agreed. However, this is not the end. An employment tribunal will next have to decide whether the store and distribution roles were of “equal value” and, if so, they would then have to consider whether there are any reasons, other than gender, as to why there should be different levels of pay between the stores and distribution centres. Each stage is also likely to include appeals to Employment Appeals Tribunal, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court therefore it is likely to be many years before we have a final verdict.

Staying Covid Safe in 2021

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Please see below link to the new version of the Covid Secure poster for employers which should be displayed in a prominent position within your workplace.

For any Health and Safety queries, please contact your Health & Safety Consultant directly.

If you are NOT subscribed to our Health & Safety services and wish to have more information about our service, please contact Julieh@elcons.co.uk

 

staying-covid-19-secure-notice – New Version

New Shielding Guidance for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Comes into effect – 1st April 2021

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From 1 April you will no longer be able to offer Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to employees on the basis that they have been advised to shield.  A new guidance regime also comes into effect on the 1st April to accompany the change for those classed as “clinically extremely vulnerable”.

 

Your employees in this category will receive a letter from the NHS which in summary outlines:

 

  1. From 1 April 2021 clinically extremely vulnerable people are no longer advised to shield and will no longer be eligible for SSP if in receipt of this for reasons of shielding.
  2. The letter offers guidance on how to remain protected as they re-enter the workplace if homeworking is not an option: gov.uk/coronavirus. (Guidance, not rules, so this can be overridden at the individual’s discretion).
  3. Reminds them that social distancing and roadmap rules now apply to them as they do to others and must be adhered to.
  4. Reminds them of the vaccine availability and also of other support which may be on offer to them.

 

To view a sample of the letter your employee may receive, please visit: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/970375/Clinically_extremely_vulnerable_letter__guidance_from_010421.pdf

Chancellors announcement today.

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Here are the key points following Rishi Sunak’s announcement earlier:-

  1. Furlough extended until the end of September 2021
  2. Government to continue paying 80% of employees wages for hours staff cannot work
  3. Employers asked to contribute 10% in July and 20% in August and September
  4. National Minimum Wage to increase to £8.91 from April 1st 2021.

Call us for advice if you need to. 01422 822842

Will the Furlough scheme be extended?

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It is being reported that the Chancellor is preparing to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which is due to end on 30 April 2021. The extension, expected to be announced in the Budget on 3 March 2021, will allow workers to remain on furlough into the Summer, before the scheme is phased out. This will be part of a package of continuing measures to support businesses, including an extension of the business rates holiday for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors which is due to end on 31 March 2021.

 

This may be for your consideration if you are thinking about making positions redundant. Call your Advisor before you take any action or start a process 01422 822842

 

We will of course keep you well informed.

 

In closing, follow us on Twitter @ElconsLtd and Facebook under Elcons Employment Law Consultants Limited for regular updates too.