26 April 2021

Cas's Blog - It’s Monday, and I hope we’ve all been failing to fail all weekend

It’s good to start the week with a failure, because as we all know, that’s how we learn to succeed.  Well, that’s what we’re currently being told by the Army recruitment campaign, and to be fair, if I was being asked to scale a 10ft wall, crawl through muddy ditches with water up to my ears, and then yomp 20 miles with a 25kg pack, I’d definitely be failing first, and probably never succeeding.  But, personally, I’d rather learn first and then not fail at all.  So does anyone like failing? Anyone? I suspect that most of you are in my training camp!

At KLC training, seminars, and briefings in employment law are part of our business and in last week’s breakfast briefing I talked about changing contracts lawfully.  During the pandemic millions of employees have been furloughed at one time or another and of course this involved them agreeing to a variation to their contracts.

The question as to whether employers are obliged to furlough employees has often been asked of us, and of course the straightforward answer is, no.  The CJRS does not bestow the right for an individual to be placed on furlough, rather it entitles an employer to receive grants from HMRC for employees who have agreed to be furloughed.

However, decisions as to who should and shouldn’t be offered furlough must be made on a fair and objective basis and making seemingly irrational or perverse decisions about offering furlough could have serious repercussions, with the aggrieved employee claiming that trust and confidence has been breached, or that they have suffered unlawful discrimination.

Although we are, thank goodness, beginning to return to normal life and work, the furlough scheme will run until the end of September, which means that the question of whether an employer is being ‘unfair’ if they refuse to furlough an individual will run throughout the summer.

The next question is just how are employers going to persuade their remotely working employees that it’s perfectly safe to return to the office?; or is it that they have to persuade their remotely working employees to work from home, permanently?

Well, that’s the subject of my next blog sorted.  I’ve learnt how to overcome my writer’s block and consequently learnt how to succeed and not to fail.  Or perhaps I’ve just failed to learn?

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