The biggest developments from last week
Protection from detriment in health and safety cases
From 31 May 2021, workers have the same protection as employees when it comes to refusing to go to work for health and safety reasons. If an employee or worker has a reasonable belief that the workplace poses a serious and imminent risk to their safety, which they cannot be expected to avert, and so refuses to attend work, then it is unlawful to subject them to detriment.
Read more here
Lengthening the school day
The school day in England could be lengthened as part of ‘education recovery’. Teachers would be paid more to work for longer. The Government’s plans are expected to be finalised before the summer holidays. Employees’ usual arrangements for dropping off/picking up children may change; this could lead to flexible working requests, or even the second request in less than 12 months (not permitted under the statutory scheme) so employers will need to consider how they will deal with this. Extra requests can be permitted if an employer chooses.
Stage four to go ahead?
There are more calls for England not to move to stage 4 of its roadmap on 21 July 2021 because of the spread of the Indian variant, which has now been re-named the ‘Delta’ variant (all variants are now named as letters of the Greek alphabet). The decision will, as usual, will be given a week before the changes are supposed to go ahead (14 June 2021).
Ethnicity pay gap reporting
Further calls have been made to progress with ethnicity pay gap reporting. We await further information on this.