Having the support to engage and manage employees is a critical component of a new or mature business and knowing the employment law is key.
We have advised on a number of employment issues across the globe and especially in the Middle East jurisdictions, where employment rules are more draconian. We understand the commercial complexities of employing the right people and can provide guidance and mediation in matters that become contentious.
Recently we successfully defended and resolved several employee claims brought to labour tribunals in Hong Kong, Dubai, the UK and South Africa allowing the client to reduce the sums settled at around 20-30% of the initial claimed sums. We also favourably resolved a matter USD 3 million with a settlement value of USD 570,000 to be paid as part of a 40-month consulting service rendering this matter profitable to the client rather than a cost.
Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs, for example having flexible start and finish times, or working from home. All employees have the legal right to request flexible working – not just parents and carers. Employees must have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks to be eligible. Employers must deal with requests in a ‘reasonable manner’. This means assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the application, holding a meeting to discuss the request with the employee and offering an appeal process.
The UK government has introduced measures to combat the COVID-19 spread. This involves reducing contact with others. When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government has introduced (23 March 2020) three new measures: a) Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes; b) Closing certain businesses and venues and c) Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public. Every person in the UK must comply with these new measures, which came into effect on Monday 23 March. The relevant authorities, including the police, have been given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings. The government will look again at these measures after three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.