We have been working with care homes to update their contracts and advise on the risks of charging the resident a regular “top-up” or additional fee where a resident is funded through NHS CHC
Several years on from the birth of the #metoo movement in the wake of the scandals that ricocheted through the worlds of entertainment and some major charities, the Government is consulting on the extent of its response.
In response to the Women and Equalities Select Committee Report back in July 2018 on sexual harassment in the workplace, the Government is looking at a number of initiatives. One of these is a consultation on whether to introduce new protections to protect interns and volunteers.
As the law currently stands, volunteers and interns are not protected under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010) from discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of one of the nine protected characteristics; age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
Should a volunteer or intern suffer any sexual harassment at the organisation where they are volunteering, their only remedy in law is via the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, a volunteer would have to demonstrate that there had been a “course of conduct” i.e. repeated harassing behaviour. Under the EqA 2010 however, a one-off incident, provided it is serious enough, is sufficient to demonstrate sexual harassment.
Whilst it is unlikely that most people would disagree with the proposal to protect volunteers, a move to change the status quo throws up some key issues:
- It could potentially blur the lines between volunteers and paid staff.
- Volunteers would need recourse to the employment tribunal so will need some sort of paperwork documenting their volunteering.
- Volunteers who previously enjoyed a high level of flexibility might find such paperwork and commitment unwelcome.
- The Government has suggested a two-tier system so that the legislation only extends to certain volunteers in major charities – this could create an unwelcome division.
How can we help?
Volunteers are often a huge asset to an organisation, but it is key to understand the key differences between volunteers and workers/employees in terms of rights, responsibilities, benefits and burdens. The employment and pensions team at Anthony Collins Solicitors has produced:
- A Volunteer Toolkit that helps address these issues with practical guidance and information; and
- Volunteer Agreements that help with more permanent, often long-term volunteers to provide clarity on the relationship.
If you would like more information on these products, please contact Anna Dabek.
This is a key area for employers, so if you would like any further information or advice please contact Anna Dabek.
The parliamentary processes are complete and the Restriction of Public Exit Payments Regulations 2020 (“the Regulations”) which cap exit payments in the public sector at £95,000 will be in force from 4 November.
As the UK’s social housing sector recovers from the initial Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown, now is the time to focus on the challenges that may emerge next.
There is no universal approach to regenerating town centres. However, housing must be considered a key part of any regeneration project – providing well-needed new homes and economic growth.
Friday 16 October marks the 6th annual Wear Red Day in England, Wales and Scotland. Wear Red Day is the brainchild of the charity; Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC). SRTRC aims to educate young people so they are equipped to recognise and challenge stereotypes, misconceptions and negative attitudes towards race.
Alongside the Building Safety Bill published in July 2020, the Fire Safety Bill is a key step in the Government’s strategy to improve building and fire safety in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy
Government regulations came into force on 23 September 2020 providing LGPS (local government pension scheme) employers with flexibility on meeting exit payments and LGPS funds with flexibility too
Charity Financials, the financial information program from Wilmington Charities, has published its latest Income Monitor report.
As employers face the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 31 October 2020, Katherine Sinclair and Libby Hubbard discuss the intricacies of the redundancy process for furloughed employees.
We have learned many things over the last six months; the latest lesson is that there is no new normal. The Government initiatives and guidance may have slowed down a pace, but the challenges for employers and their employees remain.
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.