Can employers insist employees get vaccinated?

The rollout of the vaccination programme has been welcomed as the beginning of the end for the Covid-19 pandemic. For many employers, ensuring their workforce is vaccinated is an important step in getting their business back to operating as usual. However, the effects of ‘vaccine hesitancy’ and the anti-vaccine movement may mean that some employees refuse to be vaccinated.

How employers respond to choices around vaccinations brings into play employment law, data protection law and human rights and here we answer 5 common questions.

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Our top 5 reasons why we love being employment solicitors

Qualifying as a solicitor is a special moment. It takes years of studying and training and qualification brings an immense feeling of satisfaction and great achievement.  It can also be a bit scary venturing out in the working world knowing that you are now expected to make your own decisions.

Here we share all that is good and perhaps a bit surprising about working in employment law.

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10 ways the world of work has changed in the last 10 years – 2011 vs 2021

A new year is upon us and with all the uncertainty going on around us at the moment, it seems like the perfect opportunity to reflect and evaluate. We have all had to adapt in so many ways over the last 12 months, not least in how we all work, that we thought we’d have a look at how the world of work has changed in the last 10 years.

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Celebrating 10 successful years of providing specialist, client focused employment advice

Here at SCE Solicitors, in 2021 we are celebrating 10 successful years since our specialist HR & Employment Law firm was founded in 2011. Demand for our legal services, including our specialist mental health in the workplace support, has soared recently as employers grapple with managing staff through COVID-19 restrictions.

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It is time to refresh HR policies and practices for 2021

2020 was a tumultuous year with employers having to respond rapidly to the challenges of the pandemic and it doesn’t look like it is easing any time soon. Culturally the world has shifted too, with the Black Lives Matter movement bringing momentum to improving equality and diversity at work. The end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 means an end to free movement and has implications for UK employment law.

As we now enter a further lockdown this is a good time to review and refresh HR policies and practices after a fast-paced 2020 and to get ready for the challenges of the new year.

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Ensuring the wellbeing and mental health of employees working from home

While some people are enjoying working from home, this is not the case for everyone and the negative impacts over several months are taking a toll on some employees.

Employers are unsure of their responsibilities for mental health and how to deal with performance issues, when the boundary between home and work has become blurred, they want to know how best to support their employees’ wellbeing while keeping the business on track in difficult times. This includes knowing what questions you can ask, how to address mental health issues, and how to be fair in disciplinary procedures.

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Brexit – Are you ready?

2020 has been a challenging year for most businesses. We have had to adapt quite quickly to new ways of working and many businesses have sadly not survived.

In addition to covid-19 during 2020 it has also been the transition year for Brexit and this will also affect many businesses. The transition period ends on 31 December 2020 and there will be new rules to follow from 1 January 2021. Unless you take action, there may be a risk that your business operations are interrupted. There are actions that you can take now to prepare for this.

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Keeping your workforce agile and within the law

The viability of many businesses is on a knife edge and flexibility in scaling the workforce up or down at short notice has become increasingly important.

For many employers, keeping their workforce as flexible as possible will be essential for their future. However, the law around zero hours contracts, self-employment, personal service companies and agency workers is complex, and now is the time to take stock of your current arrangements.

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Our Well-Being Room: one year on

Last year we held the official opening of our well-being room. We planned the room in great detail involving all of the staff in its creation. Our own, Hannah and Jennifer designed and painted the feature wall. The idea was to make it bright and colourful giving the effect of lots of light.

A year in and we have decided to reflect on the positive effect our well-being room has had on our staff and others who have come to use it (prior to the lock-down restrictions).

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Is flexible working here to stay?

Debates over flexible working have been everywhere recently. When the coronavirus pandemic first arrived on our shores in the spring, the government’s announcement that we should all “work from home if we can” ushered in a huge sea-change for workers across the UK. Although a return to the office was then encouraged over the summer, there was no great stampede – office workers largely preferred to continue working from home. Following a recent spike in coronavirus cases, working from home is now the official advice once again.  

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