NEWS UPDATE – 23/02/21 - 23/02/2021

COVID-19

  • The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’, setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England.  Key dates are:
    • Lockdown will start to end in England on 8 March, when schools reopen, and two people are allowed to meet outdoors.
    • On 29 March, six people, or two households, will be able to meet outdoors – including in private gardens.  From this date, people will no longer be legally required to stay at home, but guidance will set out that people should continue to work from home where they can.
    • Non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality are due to open on 12 April
    • 17 May plans to see the opening of indoor hospitality, controlled large events and the ability for 30 people to meet outdoors, or 6 people/2 households to meet indoors
    • With appropriate mitigations in place, by 21 June, the Government aims to remove all legal limits on social contact including that people should continue to work from home if they can

The roadmap sets out indicative, “no earlier than” dates for the steps which are five weeks apart. These dates are wholly contingent on the data and are subject to change.

  • The devolved administrations will set out separate plans with Nicola Sturgeon expected to reveal the plan to end lockdown in Scotland later today.
  • Government has written to those that are clinically extremely vulnerable and at high risk of becoming very unwell if they catch COVID19, to extend shielding until 31 March 2021.
  • Updated guidance confirms that eligible seasonal agricultural workers who may self-isolate on the farm on which they are working and living do not need to take a coronavirus test on day 2 and day 9 after arrival in the UK.  Eligible workers must go directly to the farm where they are working and can start work immediately but must quarantine on the farm for 10 days.

GENERAL

  • Workforce recruitment and labour supply from 2021’ is our new guide available from the Immigration and Right to Work section of the ALP Help Centre.  Written in partnership with the UK Home Office, the guide supports labour providers and employers to
  • Consider what actions to take to help secure continuity of labour supply
  • Correctly signpost current EU workers to what action they need to take to safeguard their rights, and the rights of their families, to remain living and working in the UK
  • Understand the new immigration system including:
    • Routes to employment in the UK
    • How to become a sponsor
  • Understand what action to take to remain compliant with right to work legislation, both in respect of existing workers and new applicants
  • The UK’s Supreme Court has ruled that Uber drivers are considered “workers” – not self-employed as Uber had argued – and are therefore entitled to basic rights including paid holiday, rest breaks and the national minimum wage. There are five million people currently working in the gig economy in the UK, according to the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) and so this judgement is likely to have a significant impact on their terms of engagement.

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