One of the benefits of being a member of My People Partner is that you receive an in-depth Employment Law Update at the start of every month. What follows is a summary of the March 2022 report.
On 21 February 2022, the Prime Minister made a statement in the House of Commons on the government’s strategy for living with COVID-19 in England.
Most significantly he announced the removal of all remaining domestic legal restrictions as follows:
- From 24 February 2022, the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test ends as do self-isolation support payments. Provisions for claiming statutory sick pay will remain in force for a further month. Routine contact tracing will end. Fully vaccinated close contacts of positive cases will no longer be asked to test daily for seven days. The legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate will be removed. Until 1 April 2022, those testing positive will be advised to stay at home. Thereafter, people who have COVID-19 symptoms will be encouraged to exercise personal responsibility (as those who may have flu are encouraged to be considerate to others).
- From 1 April 2022, free symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the public will end. However, free symptomatic tests for the oldest age groups and those most vulnerable to COVID-19 will be provided. The government is working with retailers to ensure that tests will be available to buy.
- From 1 April 2022, the government will no longer recommend the use of voluntary COVID-19 status certification, although the NHS app will continue to allow people to indicate their vaccination status for international travel.
- The remaining principles concern the protection of the most vulnerable with targeted vaccines and treatments, maintaining resilience given the considerable uncertainty about the future path of the pandemic (tracking the virus through the ONS survey and maintaining the capacity to ramp up testing), and building on innovation through the Vaccines Task Force and Therapeutics Task Force.
- Right to work checks – The temporary COVID-19 adjusted right to work check measures will now end on 30 September 2022 (inclusive), not 5 April 2022 as previously announced by the Home Office.
- Mandatory vaccination of health and social care staff – On 31 January 2022, it was announced that regulations making vaccines a condition of deployment for health and social care staff will be revoked, subject to public consultation and Parliamentary approval. The consultation was published on 9 February and closed on 16 February. At the time of writing, we await the outcome of the consultation.
Members of the My People Partner programme also received information relating to:
- Care workers added to the Shortage Occupation List – the Home Office has updated Immigration Rules to add care workers and home carers (Standard Occupational Classification 6145) to the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).
- “Flexi-job” apprenticeships – a pilot programme is to commence in England with the regulations coming into force from 6th April 2022.
- Bereavement guidance – Acas has published new bereavement guidance Leave to help employers deal with employees suffering a bereavement and understand the rights they may have to time off and pay when they are bereaved.
- Tier 1 Investor Visas – the Home Office has announced the closure of the Tier 1 Investor Visa route to all new applicants from all nationalities with immediate effect.
- Case La
- Claim for holiday pay was out of time
- Agency Workers
Go to My People Partner for more information on the programme or for advice on employment law and HR matters