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Event: Michael Ford QC & Nadia Motraghi speak at OSC ‘The Consequences of Covid’ seminar one

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Michael Ford QC and Nadia Motraghi spoke on the 9th June to a packed (virtual) audience of hundreds of the employment law cognoscenti on Coronavirus, JRS and employment rights, and the return to work.

Michael Ford QC covered:

  • The disproportionate impact of Coronavirus related ‘legislation’ on the vulnerable, low paid, and those with protected characteristics.
  • The legal status of the Governments Direction and Guidance.
  • The impact of those measures on existing legal rights, including SSP, Pregnant worker’s rights, and redundancy payments.
  • The effect of the Furlough Scheme on workers contracts.
  • The fairness of dismissals impacted by the Furlough Scheme, including potential frustration and SOSR arguments.
  • Consultation duties and Covid related redundancies.
  • The potentially unlawful (direct and indirect) discriminatory effects of the furlough scheme, on women, older and BAME candidates,  selection,  and whether it is a detriment not to be furloughed.
  • The Furlough scheme and notice pay, the Working Time Regulations and paid leave.
  • The effect of the scheme on continuity of employment.
  • Detriments and dismissals for refusing to return to work.

Nadia Motraghi covered

  • The complex interplay of legislative and common law regimes that impact on the return to work after Covid 19, and how to orientate yourself in them.
  • The legal framework governing health and safety at work in particular.
  • The requirement and contents of risk assessments and attendant actions required by employers.
  • The three stage process required to ensure a safe system of work from risk assessments, to setting up the systems indicated by the risk assessment to ensuring those systems are followed.
  • The Health and Safety Executive Guidance on safely returning to work.
  • The Government guidance on a safe return to work including both the general advice applicable to all including the 5 stages from Risk assessments to managing transmission to help, where appropriate to work from home. In addition the 8 sector specific guides on the safe return to work.
  • The steps employers should be taking with regard to personal protective equipment.
  • Specific situations that may arise, including: When employees are entitled to refuse to return to work and what the consequences are if they are not entitled to refuse, but do so.
  • The likely worker status arguments that may arise from the differing levels of protection afforded to workers and employees.
  • The effect of withholding wages for failing to return to work.
  • The implications of requiring employees to travel to and from work in potentially risky conditions.
  • Whistleblowing issues that are likely to arise from Covid 19.
  • The respective positions of the clinically vulnerable, the extremely vulnerable and the interplay with that and disability.

If you would like to hear more about Michael’s or Nadia’s talk, or their exceptional thought leadership in this area, contact Old Square Chambers.


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