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Specialist Employment Law Solicitors in Abingdon
For Oxford, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, London & the Thames Valley

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Welcome to Employment Law Plus

understanding your needs
being straight with you
down to earth


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 workplace law Solicitor who has over 20 years experience advising businesses and individuals.


Testimonials

"Thanks a million for all your help. I cannot recommend your services any higher. You have been fantastic. The service you provided has been faultless with exceptional responsiveness, understanding, support, insight and professionalism. I have no hesitations in recommending your services and will happily do so when the need arises."


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Specialist Employment Law Solicitors

Jill Kelly is again recommended in the new Chambers Legal Directory 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


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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 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.

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“Thank you for everything. You were responsive, rapid, insightful and available. You were a great and reassuring support. Thank you once again so very much.”


“I would like to thank you for the advice and service and I will certainly recommend you to anyone in the same or similar situations. I'm not sure how you could have been more friendly.”


“I was very happy with your professionalism, and always felt like you were seeking my best interest. Thank you for that. I will be happy to refer you should the opportunity to come up to do this. Thank you!”


“Many thanks for all your help, it made a huge difference to the outcome, and to what I can do in the future.”



Solicitors based in Abingdon, Oxford, near Didcot and Newbury, we give advice by phone and email or, for meetings, we are easily accessible from Oxford, Reading, Newbury, Swindon, Didcot and Banbury. We can advise on settlement agreements by email.


News


Coronavirus

Links
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.


Latest Government Guidance on workplace working

In the new National Lockdown from 6 January 2021, workers may only leave their home for work if they cannot reasonably work from home. Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend work. See the guidance here.

For guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19, click here.

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.


Extension of Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

The Job Retention Scheme has been extended to 30 September 2021. Until 30 June 2021, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 with employers paying employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only. Employers will have 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:

  • are clinically extremely vulnerable, or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus and following public health guidance

  • have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19), such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school and childcare facilities closing, or caring for a vulnerable individual in their household.

  • 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 promised one-off payment to employers of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021 will not now be paid.

    "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.


    Workplace COVID testing

    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.


    Redundancies and the COVID-19 crisis

    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.


    Test and Trace workplace guidance

    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.


    Tougher isolation rules put employers and workers at risk of committing a criminal offence

    The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 came in on 28 September.

    Where an adult is notified, after 28th September 2020, 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. Businesses in England need to ensure they educate their employees and managers on these new rules and put in place appropriate notification procedures. Employers also need to consider the data protection implications of handling sensitive data about employees’ health.


    Health and safety planning in the COVID-19 environment

    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.


    Statutory sick pay

    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.


    New rules on holiday

    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.


    Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare during coronavirus

    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.


    Employment tribunal claims and hearings

    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.


    Guidance on handling disciplinaries and grievances during the COVID crisis

    For ACAS guidance, click here.


    Working from home

    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


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