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Partners Employment Lawyers Webinar 30th April 2020

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COVID-19 and the Workplace, Mental Health, Stress and Suicide

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Partners Employment Lawyers Webinar 30th April 2020

  1. 1. Partners Employment Lawyers, Hina Belitz, hina@partnerslaw.co.uk - 02073746546 COVID-19 and the Workplace, Mental Health, Stress and Suicide Partners Employment Lawyers Webinar Thursday 30th April 2020 www.partnerslaw.co.uk 02073746546 All legal work is carried out through Excello Law Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
  2. 2. • Hina Belitz is a senior employment lawyer, author and trainer with over 20 years’ experience building her career within major City Law firms including DLA Piper, Pinsent Masons and Dentons before establishing her own practice in 2006. • Hina acts for a wide range of companies as well as for international royalty, and UK-based embassies advising on employment law, strategy and board level decision making. She also advises senior executives on termination and settlement agreements. • The most substantial part of her work is with Corporations advising on law and strategy in areas such as redundancy, difficult employees, TUPE and corporate re-organisations. • Hina co-authored the ‘Penguin Guide to Employment Rights’ with preface by Cherie Booth, barrister and wife of Tony Blair. Hina Belitz
  3. 3. COVID-19 cases at work, Mental Health, Stress and Suicide
  4. 4. Partners Employment Lawyers, Hina Belitz, hina@partnerslaw.co.uk - 02073746546 CORONAVIRUS
  5. 5. COVID-19 cases at work • COVID-19: What we know so far… • COVID-19: Case studies and discussions 1. Senior manager dismissed for refusing to allow his team to travel to an international event. 2. Employee faces disciplinary action for walking out of the office over fears another employee, who works in proximity, has coronavirus. 3. Employer refuses to allow an employee to wear a face mask.
  6. 6. Partners Employment Lawyers, Hina Belitz, hina@partnerslaw.co.uk - 02073746546 COVID-19: What we know so far… • Guidance is continuously changing • Government Guidance for employees, employers and businesses in providing advice about coronavirus (COVID-19). • ACAS Guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for employers and employees.
  7. 7. Statutory Sick Pay • SSP Regulations have been amended • Regulation 2(1)(c) provides that a person is deemed incapable of work where he is: • "(i) isolating himself from other people in such a manner as to prevent infection or contamination with coronavirus, in accordance with the schedule; and • (ii) by reason of that isolation is unable to work." • The schedule states that a person is deemed to be incapable of work because they are self-isolating to prevent infection from COVID-19 where: • They have symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, and are staying at home for seven days, beginning with the day on which the symptoms started (day 1). • They live with someone who is self-isolating (as above) and are staying at home for 14 days, beginning with day 1. • They are already self-isolating in accordance with the second bullet (above), develop the symptoms of COVID- 19, however mild, and are staying at home for seven days, beginning with the day the symptoms started.
  8. 8. Statutory Sick Pay • Temporary changes to SSP to: • SSP can be claimed from the first day of incapacity, rather than the fourth day • enable employers with fewer than 250 employees to reclaim SSP paid in respect of the first 14 days
  9. 9. Annual leave • Can workers carry forward annual leave if they are prevented from taking it due to the pandemic? • In what circumstances could holiday be used by workers to cover periods of absence? • Holiday pay
  10. 10. Employers duty of care • What special considerations apply where the employee is pregnant? • What should an employer do where an employee who is at work starts displaying symptoms?
  11. 11. High risk employees and discrimination issues • Where an employee refuses to attend work because they have a disability which they believe puts them at high risk of serious illness if they catch COVID-19, can an employer dismiss them, or if not, what pay are they entitled to?
  12. 12. Partners Employment Lawyers, Hina Belitz, hina@partnerslaw.co.uk - 02073746546 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) CARLUCCIO’S LIMITED AND THE INSOLVENCY ACT 1986
  13. 13. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) • Who is covered? • Does the individual have to be at risk of redundancy to be covered by the scheme?
  14. 14. How is furlough leave implemented? • How does an employer decide who to put onto furlough: do they need to go through an equivalent redundancy scoring exercise? • Can an employer rotate furlough between its employees? • Are employers obliged to top up the remaining 20%?
  15. 15. During furlough leave • Can an employee work for another employer? • Can employees on furlough leave do volunteer work? • Can employees on furlough leave undertake training?
  16. 16. Partners Employment Lawyers, Hina Belitz, hina@partnerslaw.co.uk - 02073746546
  17. 17. Partners Employment Lawyers, Hina Belitz, hina@partnerslaw.co.uk - 02073746546 Case Study 1 Senior manager dismissed for refusing to allow his team to travel to an international event.
  18. 18. Partners Employment Lawyers, Hina Belitz, hina@partnerslaw.co.uk - 02073746546 Case Study 2 Employee faces disciplinary action for walking out of the office over fears another employee, who works in proximity, has coronavirus.
  19. 19. Partners Employment Lawyers, Hina Belitz, hina@partnerslaw.co.uk - 02073746546 Case Study 3 Employer refuses to allow an employee to wear a face mask.
  20. 20. Mental Health, Stress and Suicide
  21. 21. Partners Employment Lawyers, Hina Belitz, hina@partnerslaw.co.uk - 02073746546 Mental Health, Caroline Flack, depression and suicide cases in the workplace
  22. 22. Partners Employment Lawyers, Hina Belitz, hina@partnerslaw.co.uk - 02073746546 • An employee with mental health issues has told their manager that they are suicidal. The employee blames their mental health issues on the employer, saying that it failed to support them by not redeploying them to another role in the company when their relationship broke down with their manager. The Employer invited the employee to a meeting, which they refused. When the employer could no longer get in touch with the employee due to the employee's vulnerable mental state it called their next of kin, which the employee subsequently objected to on email.
  23. 23. Thank You For further information please: Call us: 020 7374 6546 / 07809694400 Email us: hina@partnerslaw.co.uk Website – www.partnerslaw.co.uk All legal work is carried out through Excello Law Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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