Employment & Immigration, United Kingdom, Lewis Silkin updates

Lockdowns and remote working – to what extent can employees be monitored?
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 25 November 2020

With reports of businesses increasingly taking steps to monitor staff who are working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a key question that has emerged is whether employers can actively monitor those who are working remotely and, if so, how intrusive can that monitoring be? This article discusses the legal considerations and how employers can strike an appropriate and fair balance between work and home life.

Immigration Rules confirmed for Hong Kong British National (Overseas) citizens
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 25 November 2020

From 31 January 2021 two new immigration routes will be introduced for British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) citizens and their adult children who were born on or after 1 July 1997. These two routes are BN(O) status holder and BN(O) household member. The Home Office recently published the detailed Immigration Rules for these routes, which this article summarises.

Self-employed financial support extended until April 2021
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 18 November 2020

The government's Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been extended for a further six months, providing two further three-month grants after the expiry of the second grant period. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced that all three months of the third grant will be calculated at 80% (with a £7,500 cap), which will no doubt be welcome news for the self-employed as England enters its new lockdown.

Q&A on new immigration system
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 18 November 2020

Employers have lots of questions regarding the new immigration system that will apply in 2021, particularly with regard to the Skilled Worker visa, which will replace Tier 2 (General) from 1 January 2021. This Q&A – based on questions asked by attendees to a recent webinar – answers employers' main questions.

Furlough scheme extended until end of March 2021
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 11 November 2020

The government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the furlough scheme) has been extended until the end of March 2021. Although this is welcome and will allow for more effective business planning, the new five-month extension may mean that some employees will spend an entire year on furlough. This article discusses what is currently known about how the scheme will operate.

MAC commissioned to report on intra-company transfers
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 11 November 2020

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has accepted a commission from the home secretary to review intra-company transfer visa arrangements. The MAC has also been asked to consider what provision could be made to allow overseas businesses to send a team rather than one individual to establish a UK branch or subsidiary, or carry out a secondment to work on a high-value goods or services contract. The report is due by the end of October 2021, with a revised route likely becoming available in 2022.

Six pitfalls to avoid with EU Settlement Scheme
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 04 November 2020

Despite the EU Settlement Scheme being publicised as simple and straightforward, there are many potential pitfalls for the unwary, particularly when the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic are factored in. To avoid them, individuals must be aware of the scheme and get to grips with it before the end of 2020. This article sets out some of the potential pitfalls and suggestions for how to avoid them.

Furlough scheme extended as England prepares to enter new lockdown
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 04 November 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the furlough scheme) will be extended rather than closed as originally planned. The extension will cover a new lockdown in England, which is expected to come into force on 5 November 2020 and last until 2 December 2020. This article summarises the immediate questions and implications for employers and provides possible wordings that they can use to inform employees of the changes.

Home Office publishes Immigration Rules for new immigration system
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 28 October 2020

The Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC 813 was recently published. This key document outlines the features of the government's points-based immigration system and simplifies the language and structure of some areas of the Immigration Rules. The new system will apply to EEA and Swiss nationals, aside from Irish nationals. This article highlights some of the changes that are likely to be of most interest to employers.

Changes to Job Support Scheme – an open and shut case?
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 28 October 2020

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has significantly expanded the Job Support Scheme after objections from businesses, particularly those in Tier 2 areas, that they are facing massively reduced demand but less support from the government than Tier 3 businesses legally forced to close. The changes could have a significant impact – but employers have little time to take the steps needed to take advantage of the scheme before it takes effect on 1 November 2020.

What does the COVID-19 tier system mean for offices?
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 October 2020

New regulations underpinning the three-tier lockdown system are now in force in England as part of the government's efforts to step up its response to the pandemic. This article considers whether the new regulations will demand a stricter approach to office work, as well as what may constitute a gathering, the rules for travelling to work in a different tier and how to approach client and internal work meetings.

Global Talent visas for digital technology applicants: factsheet
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 October 2020

The Global Talent visa route is designed for individuals who are recognised or emerging leaders in digital technology and wish to work in the United Kingdom. Successful applicants will be granted up to five years' leave in the United Kingdom and can apply to extend their visa as many times as they like. This article outlines the criteria for endorsement used to assess whether an applicant qualifies as either a recognised or an emerging leader.

MAC publishes report recommending expanded shortage occupation lists
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 14 October 2020

The Migration Advisory Committee has recommended a significant expansion of the occupations deemed to be in shortage for the purposes of sponsorship under the new skilled worker category, which will replace Tier 2 (General) from 1 January 2021. The Home Office will now need to consider the recommendations and finalise the Immigration Rules for skilled workers.

Employment tribunals – will Winter 2020 see a flurry of claims?
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 14 October 2020

It is almost inevitable that the coming months will see employers receiving more employment tribunal (ET) claims. Imminent changes in ET procedures are likely to reduce case backlogs and lead to claims progressing to a hearing more quickly in a climate in which employment disputes are increasing. How will this affect employers?

COVID-19 Job Support Scheme – FAQs for employers
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 07 October 2020

The government's new Job Support Scheme (JSS) replaces the furlough scheme and will start on 1 November 2020. The JSS will provide ongoing wage support for people in work, provided that employers meet certain access conditions, employees are working at least 33% of their usual hours and employers also provide additional wage support. This article answers FAQs covering eligibility, how the scheme works, what employers must agree with employees and alternative resourcing options for employers.

Countdown to new 2021 immigration system and Brexit – are you ready?
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 07 October 2020

From 1 January 2021 there will be a new immigration system in the United Kingdom. Due to free movement ending, the new system will apply to EEA and Swiss nationals as well as non-EEA nationals. Employers must start to prepare for this change now. This article provides a timeline which outlines the areas that employers must consider and suggests timeframes for taking action.

New Immigration Rules for students give employers insight into what's to come for workers
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 30 September 2020

The Home Office recently published new Immigration Rules for students. The rules provide the first glimpse of the new points-based immigration system and highlight what some of its implications will be, not only for students, but also for employers and workers. While the new rules for work routes will not be published until later in Autumn 2020, the new rules for students provide some significant pointers on the Home Office's general thinking and flag some areas in which further policy clarifications will be needed.

New Job Support Scheme to replace furlough scheme announced
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 30 September 2020

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced a new Job Support Scheme to replace the furlough scheme. It will start on 1 November 2020 and run for six months. This article sums up the key features of the scheme and looks at the important questions from an employment law perspective.

Face coverings and the workplace
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 23 September 2020

What health and safety obligations do employers have towards employees and visitors with regard to face coverings in the workplace? How should they enforce wearing face coverings if people refuse? And how should they protect employees from abusive customers or visitors? This article discusses the current rules regarding face coverings at work and some of the practical issues that may arise for employers.

ICIBI calls for evidence on UKVI's commercial partners' performance
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 23 September 2020

Employers and other stakeholders have until 1 October 2020 to provide the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) with views on how well the commercial partners of UK Visas and Immigration are performing, for applications made both in the United Kingdom and abroad. The ICIBI is seeking evidence from stakeholders on whether commercial partners are meeting the needs of UK visa applicants.

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