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

Company Director Disqualification in the Criminal Courts – Henderson Chambers

‘Criminal courts have sweeping powers to disqualify directors arising from prosecutions for regulatory crime, with far-reaching consequences for companies and individuals. This Alerter provides an essential guide for practitioners to approaching director’s disqualification orders at a time when the HSE, Environment Agency and other regulators show a growing appetite to prosecute individuals.’

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Henderson Chambers, 29th April 2020

Source: 3yf6pp3bqg8c3rycgf1gbn9w-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com

Contracting Covid-19 at work – who needs to know? Chief Coroner’s Guidance 37 & RIDDOR – Park Square Barristers

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

‘The vast majority of deaths from Covid-19 will not be referred to the Coroner and even fewer will result in an inquest into the death. However, when an employee dies from Covid-19 it may have to be reported to both the Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”) and the Coroner.’

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Park Square Barristers, 29th April 2020

Source: www.parksquarebarristers.co.uk

Working from Home during COVID-19 – Thomas More Chambers

‘During these unprecedented times, working from home on a full-time basis has become the ‘new normal’. This is in stark contrast to before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began, when out of 32.6 million people in employment, only 1.7 million regularly worked from home. The change to enforced homeworking was swift and represented significant changes to the lifestyle and routines of both employers and employees, which, in turn, creates a number of legal and practical issues for employers. It is currently unknown how long homeworking will last for, or indeed if the outbreak of COVID-19 will cause a shift towards homeworking on a permanent basis.’

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Thomas More Chambers, 30th April 2020

Source: www.thomasmore.co.uk

Coronavirus: Draft post-lockdown workplace rules contain ‘huge gaps’ – TUC – BBC News

Posted May 5th, 2020 in coronavirus, employment, health & safety, news, trade unions by sally

‘Draft guidance for getting people back to work during the coronavirus pandemic could compromise worker safety, the head of the TUC has warned.’

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BBC News, 4th May 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

COVID-19 Deaths and PPE – The Coroner’s Role – Parklane Plowden Chambers

‘Inevitably the COVID-19 pandemic will result in a significant increase in the workload of coroners and the number of inquests being heard. Cases where the virus may have been contracted in the workplace setting including frontline workers because of the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) may be one significant area of potential inquiry.’

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Parklane Plowden Chambers, 4th May 2020

Source: www.parklaneplowden.co.uk

Covid-19 deaths and Inquests – Doughty Street Chambers

‘An Inquest is not a foregone conclusion, since death by prevalent disease will not necessarily be considered “unnatural”. There is new guidance issued today (28 April 2020) by the Chief Coroner as to the circumstances in which in Inquest will be appropriate.’

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Doughty Street Chambers, 28th April 2020

Source: insights.doughtystreet.co.uk

COVID-19 and Immigration Detention – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted May 1st, 2020 in coronavirus, detention, health, health & safety, immigration, news by sally

‘At the start of the year, some 1,200 immigrants were being held in immigration detention in the UK. The power to detain immigrants is separate from detention of individuals as part of a criminal sentence. There is a presumption against detention of immigrants and immigration detention, which can only be in accordance with one of the statutory powers (the majority of which are contained in the Immigration Act 1971 and the Immigration and Asylum Act 2002), and is allowed in the interests of maintaining effective immigration control, for example, to effect removal; to establish a person’s identity or the basis of their immigration claim; or where there is reason to believe that the person will fail to comply with any conditions attached to a grant of immigration bail.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 30th April 2020

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com