International Employment - United Kingdom

International Employment - United Kingdom

Published June 2020


John Hayes

Firm: Constantine Law
Country: United Kingdom - England

Practice Area: Labour and Employment

  • The Clubhouse
    50 Grosvenor Hill
    London W1K 3QT

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The straight answer to this is “no.” Constantine Law is a genuinely agile law firm: we don’t carry a lease. We work remotely, and we meet our clients in local business clubs and/or at their offices. We have stripped out fixed cost, and we pass on the cost saving to our clients. We have the IT and the mindset to work in these troubled times.

Current workflow is good because employment lawyers are very busy right now. We spent a lot of time giving employers “furlough” advice in March and April. Life then went a bit quieter. But right now, we are very, very busy with redundancies and restructuring advice. Millions of employees are going to be made redundant in the UK in Q3 and Q4, 2020, as the furlough scheme stops.

The latter. Furlough was a “kick the can down the road” strategy. However, as furlough ends, litigation will start.

I am aware of some misuses of the furlough scheme but, in the main, “benefit fraud” will not be a big issue. Employers and employees have behaved very responsibly during this period, and the furlough scheme was a good thing. The challenges will arise when it stops.

Constantine Law mainly acts for employers, and so we tend to advise them on Equality Act issues and advise them on best practice in terms of preventing discrimination in the workplace. We do some interesting work for senior individuals. In one recent discrimination case, we are acting for an employee with a “qualifying disability” who was made to apologise to six fellow employees for having epileptic fits in the office. His employer is a national broadcaster of media company. We think that they will have to settle.

This is a very good question. The answer is that the UK will “Brexit fully” on 31 December, 2020. On that date, the current transition period (in which we are no longer a member of the EU, but are still subject to all EU laws) will end. This means that business immigration and Tier 2 (skilled worker) visas will be THE big employment law issue of 2021 in the UK. Today, a Parisian banker wanting to work in the City of London can just come and work (no work permit is required). From 1 January, 2021, this will all change. This will result in a massive increase in costs and administration for businesses wanting to recruit skilled EU nationals to the UK.

We do rely on the network of lawyers in Global Law Experts. We do have some of our own connections, but the access to Global Law Experts is invaluable.

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