Specialist Employment Law Solicitors Founded in 2006
Why compromise on anything less?
A fresh approach to legal services - based on understanding your needs, being straight with you and giving down to earth advice. We give practical, commercial support.
Jill Kelly, Director, is a specialist employment law Solicitor who has over 20 years experience advising businesses and individuals with employment law challenges.
Specialists in settlement agreements
We are specialists in advising employees on termination packages and settlement agreements and can advise on settlement agreements on a fixed fee basis and invoice the employer direct for their fee contribution. For Services for Individuals click here. For information about settlement agreements, click here.
We also advise employers on employee terminations, appropriate packages, settlement agreements, defence of Employment Tribunal claims and all employment law issues. For Services for Businesses click here.
Specialist Employment Law Solicitors
Jill Kelly is again recommended in the new Chambers Legal Directory as a leading employment law solicitor which says:
Sources describe Jill Kelly of Employment Law Plus as "very knowledgeable, communicative and supportive." She has a comprehensive practice which spans disputes of all kinds as well as reorganisations, pay, terms and conditions, and day-to-day issues.
More about Jill Kelly
Why compromise on anything less?
We are all about quality not quantity. You will not be passed to a more junior and inexperienced solicitor. We are unique in offering the 20 years plus expertise and experience of Director Employment Solicitor, Jill Kelly, to ALL our clients in Oxford, Didcot, Abingdon, Newbury and elsewhere.
We are fully authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with professional indemnity insurance cover. Employment Law Plus. Specialist employment law solicitors.
Solicitors based in Abingdon, Oxford, near Didcot and Newbury, we give advice by video conference, phone and email or, for meetings, we are easily accessible from Oxford, Reading, Abingdon, Newbury, Swindon, Didcot and Banbury. We can advise on settlement agreements by email. Specialist employment law solicitor.
Events coming up
We are presenting a Webinar for employers on Tuesday 28 September on COVID and the workplace.
There will be a meeting of the South Oxon HR Forum on 20 October 2021 on the topic: How to build a successful Hybrid Team.
For more on either event, complete our online form here.
See ACAS Guide for employers and employees here.
See NHS guidance here.
See Public Health England guidance here.
See government guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus here.
See government guidance support for businesses here and here.
See government guidance on coronavirus job retention scheme click here.
See government guidance on apprenticeships here
See government guidance for employees here.
See guidance for users of courts and tribunals here.
For our November 2020 Employer's COVID checklist, click here.
For our February 2021 article: Can employers penalise workers for refusing to have a Covid vaccination? click here.
Contact us for advice on employee relations issues arising from the crisis.
Click here for Guidance from the CIPD on vaccinations and the workplace and here for Government guidance. You can see our news item on this here.
For guidance on going to work click here.
For guidance on protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19, click here. Sheilding has now been suspended.
Update from 1 April: Public Health England has issued new guidance applying from 1 April 2021: From 1 April 2021 people who are extremely clinically vulnerable are no longer advised to shield. They may continue to be eligible for the furlough scheme, but, from 1 April, they will no longer be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) on the basis of being advised to shield. For the guidance: click here
If employees must work from the business premises, the employer should be keeping a record of who is coming into work and the reasons why.
End of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) in sight
The Job Retention Scheme will end on 30 September 2021. Employers had to start contributing more to the scheme from 1 July 2021. More details of this can be seen here.
Employees on the scheme can be working part time in which case the payments will relate to the part of their working hours which they are not working.
The guidance now says that: Employees can be furloughed, if they are unable to work, including from home or working reduced hours because they:
The government has updated its guidance on the scheme. This now says that employers CANNOT claim for employees serving contractual or statutory notice periods for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020.
HMRC is now publishing employer names who have made claims under the scheme for the month of December onwards. This is available here.
For an overview, click here. For more detailed information, click here and here.
A new Treasury Direction on the CJRS is here.
The onus is on the employer to notify HMRC if they have overclaimed COVID-19 grants.
"The Furlough template was excellent, thank you. Thanks also for the holiday info on your website."
Is your business ready for the end of the furlough scheme? If you will need to make changes to terms and conditions of employment or make redundancies, contact us for expert advice and guidance.
For Government guidance on workplace COVID testing click here. And do not forget the data protection implications. The ICO has published guidance on this here. There is also ICO guidance on vaccination and COVID status checks here.
The Government has announced that employees who were furloughed and then made redundant will not lose out financially in their redundancy package because of the reduction in their pay due to furlough. Instead, their statutory redundancy payments and notice payments must be based on their normal wages. For more information, click here.
Employers must not forget that usual protections for unfair dismissal and discrimination will apply to redundancies. For collective redundancies, there are also requirements to inform and consult with employee representatives. We can give detailed advice on handling redundancies in a lawful way.
ACAS has updated its guidance on making redundancies to include furlough issues here.
Employers should have in place back to work policies which include the implications of the NHS Test and Trace system in the workplace. The Government has issued guidance here. We can help employers think this through and amend policies and privacy notices.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 came in on 28 September.
Where an adult is notified, after 28th September 2020, via the NHS Test & Trace Service that they have tested positive for COVID-19 or they have been notified that they have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive, they must self-isolate.
They must then tell their employer that they are self-isolating as soon as reasonably practical, unless they can work at the place they are self isolating (usually their home). They must also tell their employer the start and end date of the isolation period. It is a criminal offence for the employee to fail to do this.
If an employer knows a worker has tested positive (or lives with someone who has tested positive), it is must stop the worker from working (unless they can work from home). Any employer who knowingly fails to do so will face criminal prosecution and can be fined a minimum of £1,000.
These rules only apply in England.
The rules were amended in July 2021 to allow workers to attend the workplace if they have been double vaccinated and in some other circumstances.
Businesses in England need to ensure they educate their employees and managers on these rules and put in place appropriate notification procedures. Employers also need to consider the data protection implications of handling sensitive data about employees’ health.
These rules do not apply for employees receiving notification through the NHS Covid-19 app. However, they are still expected not to attend the workplace unless double vaccinated etc.
Whether a business currently has employees at work or whether all employees are furloughed, businesses should be drawing up a Covid-19 risk assessment with consultation with employees.
The Government has published industry specific health and safety guidance for employers here.
On 13 March 2020, statutory sick pay became payable to those who self-isolate in accordance with public health guidance on coronavirus. Further, when this happens, SSP is payable for the first three qualifying or "waiting" days. The government changed the rules on this on 28 March 2020. The new Regulations backdate the right to SSP for the first three qualifying or "waiting" days to 13 March 2020. (The Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Suspension of Waiting Days and General Amendment) Regulations 2020). The funding is available to employers with fewer than 250 employees and would be limited to two weeks’ SSP per eligible employee. In the Spring 21 budget, the government said this is a temporary Covid-19 measure intended to support employers while levels of sickness absence are high and the scheme will be closed in due course.
From 16 April 2020, those people who are shielding became entitled to SSP payments. Shielding means they are classed as extremely vulnerable and at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus and are advised to remain home for at least 12 weeks. (The Statutory Sick Pay (General) Coronavirus Amendment) )No 3) Regulations 2020). Note: Anyone who is furloughed is not entitled to SSP.
Entitlement to statutory sick pay was further extended on 28 May 2020 to people who have been told to isolate under the new 'Test and Trace' system. (See The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020.)
Update from 1 April: Public Health England has issued new guidance applying from 1 April 2021: From 1 April 2021 people who are extremely clinically vulnerable are no longer advised to shield and they will no longer be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or on the basis of being advised to shield. For the guidance: click here
Employers can decide what they do about paying company sick pay.
On 27 March 2020, the government brought in new rules about the carry forward of holiday into the next holiday year because of coronavirus. Workers will now be able to carry forward holiday entitlement from their basic 4 week holiday entitlement if they could not take it because of the effects of coronavirus. The holiday can be carried forward for up to two leave years. This does not apply to the additional 8 days paid holiday entitlement which employees usually take on statutory holidays, nor to any additional contractual holiday entitlement.
The Regulations say that these new provisions apply where it was not reasonably practicable for a worker to take some or all of their 4 week holiday entitlement as a result of the effects of coronavirus, including on the worker, the employer or the wider economy or society. The government describes these measures as giving employers flexibility to allow workers to carry over leave at a time when granting annual leave could leave them short-staffed and so that work can continue in the national effort against the coronavirus. See here.
The Government has issued guidance on holiday and holiday pay issues during the coronavirus crisis, including where employees are furloughed. You an find the guidance here. This guidance is not legally binding and it will be up to Employment Tribunals to apply the law to the current circumstances if claims relating to holiday are brought.
There have been temporary changes to the eligibility criteria for Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare, during coronavirus. For more information, click here.
The Employment Tribunal service has issued a Q&A document about handling employment tribunal claims during the coronavirus crisis. Access it here.
There are also new guidelines on remote employment tribunal hearings here.
For ACAS guidance, click here.
WFH arrangements are an obvious way to mitigate covid-19 risks where they are possible. But don't forget about WFH implications: Does the employee have appropriate arrangements for keeping Company information secure and confidential at home? There are health and safety implications. What are the rules on using company property at home? What are the supervision arrangements? For guidance on home working from the National Cyber Security Centre click here.
Employment Law Plus
Settlement agreements and compromise agreements, grievances, age discrimination, employment tribunal claims and defences, disciplinaries, redundancy, unfair dismissal, maternity rights, race discrimination, employment contracts, victimisation, disability discrimination and adjustments, transfers of undertakings, sex discrimination, policies and procedures, sexual orientation discrimination, pay problems, working time and holiday entitlements, equal pay, restrictive covenants, Equality Act... Employment solicitors Abingdon. Employment solicitor Didcot. Employment law solicitor Oxford and Oxfordshire.
Employment Law Plus (UK) Limited, trading as Employment Law Plus, is registered in England and Wales under company number 07406653 at Stepstone House, Old Moor, Milton, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 4ED. Director: Jill Kelly. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority number 551415. Employment solicitors Abingdon. Employment solicitor Didcot. Employment law solicitor Oxford and Oxfordshire. Disability discrimination, sex discrimination, unfair dismissal, compromise agreement, settlement agreements