“Project Restart” or a false start: can professional sports clubs compel their players to return to the pitch and waive health and safety liability? – Littleton Chambers

Posted May 20th, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, employment, health, health & safety, news, sport by sally

‘As elite-level leagues, sporting associations and other stakeholders debate whether competitions can be restarted in an era of physical distancing, it has been reported that some professional football and rugby clubs are proposing to require players to sign disclaimers in relation to the health risks posed by Covid-19 before they resume training.’

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Littleton Chambers, 14th May 2020

Source: littletonchambers.com

Up to 1,500 English primary schools to defy 1 June reopening plan – The Guardian

‘Up to 1,500 primary schools in England are expected to remain closed on 1 June after a rebellion by at least 18 councils forced the government to say it had no plans to sanction them.’

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The Guardian, 19th May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Second edition released of Cloisters Toolkit: Returning to work in the time of Coronavirus – Cloisters

Posted May 19th, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, employment, health & safety, news by sally

‘A second edition of Cloisters Toolkit: Returning to work in the time of Coronavirus is now available. The comprehensive guide takes account of the latest government guidance on workplaces, travel to work and the furlough scheme.’

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Cloisters, 12th May 2020

Source: www.cloisters.com

John Bowers QC’s Employment Law Blog: Disobeying reasonable instructions – Littleton Chambers

Posted May 19th, 2020 in coronavirus, employment, health & safety, news, protective equipment by sally

‘As Britain gears up to go back to work the issue of whether employees can refuse to carry out certain tasks (or to work at all) will come to the fore as it has in other countries where the lock down has been lifted. The unions are already making it an issue. Clearly people will say I will not work without appropriate social or physical distancing. They may also argue that they are not willing to work without personal protection equipment. Or that they do not want to go to work on public transport. There is likely to be a great deal of litigation and some hard cases to be decided. So how does the law strike the necessary balance? This is not something that happened much in pre covid life but there are some precedents.’

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Littleton Chambers, 11th May 2020

Source: littletonchambers.com

PPE: a consideration of civil liabilities – St Philips Barristers

‘Have we ever talked so much about PPE? Each breakfast bulletin features interviews with essential workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, varyingly reporting inadequacies, shortages and faltering supply lines. When a shipment lands, it makes the news.’

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St Philips Barristers, 14th May 2020

Source: st-philips.com

Return To Work During The Coronavirus Pandemic – Navigating Through The Employment Law Minefield – Hardwicke Chambers

‘With the recent announcement that lockdown measures are to be eased, and those who cannot work from home should return to work, we are likely to see a greater proportion of the workplace slowly return to work. The Prime Minister has announced that those in construction and manufacturing, scientific research, logistics and food production should return to work, once their employers have confirmed that it is safe for them to do so and set a “road-map” for the re-opening of shops, restaurants and other venues as well as workplace specific guidance for working safely during coronavirus.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 14th May 2020

Source: hardwicke.co.uk

Personal Protective Equipment and Liability – Thomas More Chambers

‘Prior to the impact of the Covid19 pandemic, the issue of personal protective equipment (“PPE”) at work was a niche health and safety topic for specialists in the field. Today it dominates the media, with report after report of inadequate provision of PPE on the frontline, in hospitals, care homes and other essential places of work.’

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Thomas More Chambers, 13th May 2020

Source: www.thomasmore.co.uk

Presence of shielding QC at in-person hearing “not essential” – Legal Futures

‘The physical presence in a sensitive family case of leading counsel shielding from Covid-19 was desirable but “not essential”, a High Court judge has ruled in ordering an in-person hearing.’

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Legal Futures, 18th May 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Protecting our young – ensuring our future – Counsel

Posted May 18th, 2020 in barristers, coronavirus, courts, health, health & safety, news, young persons by sally

‘Young barristers want to be in court but they do not want this at the expense of their health or the expense of their clients, writes Katherine Duncan.’

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Counsel, May 2020

Source: www.counselmagazine.co.uk

The Return to Work After Lockdown – 39 Essex Chambers

Posted May 15th, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, employment, health, health & safety, news by sally

‘As we enter the second phase of the national battle against Covid-19 it is possible to discern a change in the political climate. The cease-fire that has been in place for the last two months may be coming to an end, with the question of how the non-WFH workforce might resume fruitful economic activity dividing not just the political parties but also the national and devolved administrations. The early indications are that the conservative government’s preferred approach is to hand over to businesses the task of designing the ‘covid-secure’ workplace and then managing the return of their workers. Detailed practical guidance from government and the HSE (https://www.hse.gov.uk/index.htm) is already arriving and there will be extensive consultation with the unions, whose priority will be to prevent a resumption of work in unsafe factories, offices and sites. No doubt much can also be learned from those businesses that have been able to continue operating during lockdown. To ensure safety and consistency, the prime minister has promised the close involvement of the HSE – spot checks of workplaces are even being planned – and returning workers are being encouraged to blow the whistle on unsafe practices and premises.’

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39 Essex Chambers, 13th May 2020

Source: www.39essex.com

Teachers can legally refuse to return over health risk, says union – The Guardian

‘Teachers can legally refuse to return when schools reopen unless they get the same protections against coronavirus as other frontline staff, one of the UK’s leading teaching unions has warned.’

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The Guardian, 14th May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Pregnant healthcare worker sues NHS agency over employment rights – The Guardian

Posted May 14th, 2020 in contract of employment, coronavirus, health & safety, news, pregnancy by sally

‘A pregnant healthcare assistant is mounting a legal action against NHS Professionals, an employment agency owned by the Department of Health and Social Care, for refusing to put her on furlough, in what could be a landmark action for other vulnerable workers bearing the brunt of the lockdown.’

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The Guardian, 13th May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Speaker warns he will suspend Commons if distancing rules broken – The Guardian

Posted May 14th, 2020 in coronavirus, health & safety, news, parliament by sally

‘The Speaker of the House of Commons has said he will suspend parliament if physical distancing rules are breached in the Commons chamber – in effect ending government hopes that MPs can return to business as usual.’

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The Guardian, 13th May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Welding company fined £450k over fatigued workers’ crash – BBC News

Posted May 14th, 2020 in accidents, fines, health & safety, news, road traffic by sally

‘A welding company has been fined £450,000 after two of its fatigued employees died in a car crash.’

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BBC News, 13th May 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Murder trial resumes with counsel and jury swapping seats – Legal Futures

‘A jury trial resumed at the Old Bailey yesterday, with barristers in the jury and press boxes, and jurors socially distancing in counsel’s rows after being told there were no face masks for them.’

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Legal Futures, 12th May 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

COVID-19: “Legal view: how to implement site operating procedures” – Atkin Chambers

Posted May 12th, 2020 in construction industry, coronavirus, health & safety, news by sally

‘“There have been as many plagues as wars in history, yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise” – these words from Albert Camus’ The Plague sum up how the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm. The UK’s construction industry is facing the greatest challenge since Brexit, but there is little specific guidance from Westminster on the way forward. Whereas all non-essential sites in Scotland have been ordered to close, sites across the rest of the country have been left in the unenviable position of having to decide whether they should remain open.’

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Atkin Chambers, 6th May 2020

Source: www.atkinchambers.com

Coronavirus: Do I have to go back to work after lockdown? – BBC News

Posted May 12th, 2020 in coronavirus, employment, health & safety, news by sally

‘The government has started easing lockdown restrictions, with more people now encouraged to start returning to work.’

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BBC News, 11th May 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

‘Join A Union’: Lawyers Warn Right To Refuse To Work Has Limits – Each Other

Posted May 12th, 2020 in coronavirus, employment, health & safety, news, trade unions by sally

‘Lawyers are urging people concerned by Boris Johnson’s back-to-work message to join a union and seek legal advice before exercising their right to refuse to work.’

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Each Other, 11th May 2020

Source: eachother.org.uk

The Coronavirus and Employers’ Liability for PPE – Ropewalk Chambers

‘The Coronavirus pandemic is likely to lead to litigation in various forms1; indeed, two doctors are reported to have already intimated a public law challenge to the lawfulness of the personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance published by the Department of Health and Social Care, and Public Health England.’

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Ropewalk Chambers, 4th May 2020

Source: www.ropewalk.co.uk

Health and Safety Claims Under The Employment Rights Act 1996 – Thomas More Chambers

Posted May 7th, 2020 in coronavirus, employment, health & safety, news by sally

‘At the present time, the issue of health and safety at work has never been more important. Employees on the frontline are, in many cases, being cajoled, threatened and bullied to attend work in circumstances where they have very legitimate concerns about the potential of being infected by Covid-19. Further, employees are often being forced to work in circumstances where their employers have failed to implement adequate health and safety measures. The continuing failure by the Government to provide adequate PPE to healthcare professionals is the most prominent example of such failures.’

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Thomas More Chambers, 4th May 2020

Source: www.thomasmore.co.uk