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FREE Zoom Seminar: 11am, 30th April 2020

Join us for a discussion of employment law issues with a Coronavirus Case Study.

Hosted by:

Sarah George is a specialist employment law barrister with particular expertise in discrimination law. Described in the Legal 500 as “a very accomplished advocate” and “particularly client friendly”, Sarah is co-author of Discrimination in Employment by Tucker and George (first published in 2006 by Thomson Reuters (Legal) Limited and updated quarterly) 

Jon Gidney represents both large and small clients in the private and public sector in all employment matters, including complex multiday discrimination claims. His clients include banks, large retailers, supermarkets, local authorities, NHS Trusts and Police Authorities. He is a team player and an excellent advocate in Court and Tribunal.

Julie Duane is a specialist employment law litigator who works across the full spectrum of employment issues for both Claimants and Respondents. She has a wide array of experience in complex discrimination, TUPE and unfair dismissal cases. An experienced advocate, Julie regularly conducts her own advocacy in the Employment Tribunal, including full merit hearings. Over the years she has secured various successful costs orders, strike outs and deposit applications for her clients.

The Case Study

Dress to Impress Ltd, a specialist in formalwear, employs 175 people. It’s five retail stores, in Stafford, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Stratford and Gloucester, employing 20 people each, have closed. Its two warehouse and distribution facilities in Stoke and Cheltenham (employing 25 people each) have remained open from which its internet business is thriving. Its head office, in Birmingham, employing 25 people, has closed.

Jay, the CEO, and Gary, the Human Resources director seek your advice. The intention is to transfer 10 people from each retail store (50 in total) to the warehouse facilities. Some have objected on vulnerability grounds or argued that it is too far to travel. Gary wrote to the remaining 50 saying “It is our intention to apply under the government scheme for assistance in the payment of your wages.  We now need to seek your agreement to vary the terms of your contract.  If you do not reply to this letter objecting to this change then with effect from 7 days from the date of this letter, you will not be required to attend your place of work and your varied contractual pay will be such proportion of your pay as we received from the government.” 

Head Office was about to embark on a redundancy exercise prior to Coronavirus, and Jay wishes to make 5 redundant, furlough another 15, and retain 5 key employees who shall work from home. Jay wishes to select the most vulnerable for furlough, but 10 employees under 25 have complained about age discrimination. She wishes for all accrued but untaken holiday to be taken during furlough. 10 staff are absent on SSP and one is absent on maternity leave.  They are asking to be furloughed. Staff have asked whether the furlough payment is gross or net, and others have presumed that their benefits in kind (car and pension) will continue unaffected. Jay has run out of money and does not intend to pay any staff until funding has been received from HMRC.

Cost : Free 

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Date: 30/04/2020 (11:00 - 12:00)

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