Newsletter issue 111

The topics covered in this issue include: Employment: Self-isolation after contact tracing deemed incapacity for SSP; Breach of confidentiality clause did not entitle employer to cease settlement payments; ACAS publishes guidance on conducting disciplinary and grievance procedures during pandemic Data Protection: ICO: guidance for employers on Covid-19 workplace testing Equality: Equality and Human Rights Commission publishes COVID-19 guidance for employers Governance: OfS issues briefing note on supporting international students FAQ: Data Protection Is just being asked to confirm information is correct considered to be processing of personal data?

Newsletter issue 110

The topics covered in this issue include: Employment: Supreme Court: Employer not vicariously liable for data breach by employee; Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme opens; New Regulations come into force providing for SSP for those in isolation Data Protection: ICO publishes guidance on data protection compliance and Covid-19 Procurement: Cabinet Office: Guidance for contracting authorities on supplier payments during Covid-19 outbreak Governance: Office for Students: briefing note on student accommodation and Covid-19 FAQ: Property How useful are Force Majeure clauses in a student accommodation contract in situations like Covid-19?      

Newsletter Issue 109

The topics covered in this issue are as follows: Employment: EHRC publishes guidance on harassment and victimisation in workplace Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 ACAS guidance for employers on the use of non-disclosure agreements Data protection: ICO issues statement on data protection and Brexit implementation Amendment of Guidance on Timescales for compliance with DSARs Procurement: Revised Procurement Thresholds from 1 January 2020 Equality: Employment Tribunal: ethical veganism protected belief under Equality Act 2010 FAQ: Property When does the Tenant Fees Act 2019 fully come into force?  

Newsletter Issue 108

The topics covered in this issue are as follows: Data protection: ICO accountability consultation Charity: Charity Commission issues updated safeguarding guidance Charity Commission and anti-cybercrime agency publish report and guidance Employment: EHRC guidance on confidentiality agreements in discrimination cases  Governance: EHRC report on racial harassment FAQ: Employment Are employers liable for third-party harassment?

Governance: OfS and standard student contract templates

The Office for Students (OfS), which is the main regulator of higher education in England, has been asked by the Department for Education to consider options for setting out students’ consumer rights in the form of standard contract templates. In a letter to OfS dated 16 September 2019 and titled ‘Strategic Guidance to the Office for Students – Ministerial priorities’, the Education Secretary for England stated: ‘Working with partners such as the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education and the Competition and Markets Authority, as well as with other experts in the field, I would like the OfS to review the effectiveness of current practice ensuring students’ consumer rights are supported, and in particular to consider options for standard contractual templates setting out these rights.’ According to the letter, the OfS is asked to report its conclusions on the matter of standard contractual templates and make initial recommendations to the government by February 2020. Amongst other matters, the letter also proposes further reforms to the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), stating: ‘…I would like the OfS to publish subject level TEF in 2021. This should be alongside the implementation of a new TEF model to be developed following the publication of the government response to the Dame Shirley Pearce’s Independent Review of TEE undertaken under Section Read Full Article…

Employment: NI Court of Appeal: reasonable adjustments and autism

In British Telecommunications PLC v Kevin Owen Meier [2019] NICA 43 the Northern Ireland (NI) Court of Appeal considered whether an employer had failed to make reasonable adjustments to a psychometric test in relation to a neuro-diverse job applicant. Mr Meier graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a 2.1 degree in computer science.  He has a high IQ.  He has Asperger’s Syndrome, dyslexia and dyspraxia.  During his educational career he had the benefit of note-takers for classes, scribes, a prompter, an Asperger’s mentor and extra time for examinations.  In March 2017 he applied for a job with British Telecommunications PLC (BT), who had advertised network design and engineering opportunities for graduates. BT is a member of the Disability Confident Scheme (DCS), which aims at helping organisations to employ and retain people with disabilities.  DCS members are expected to take active steps to attract and recruit applicants with disabilities, and to provide a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process.  Under its ‘Guaranteed Interview Scheme’, BT guaranteed to interview any applicant with a disability whose application met the minimum criteria for the position.  ‘Minimum criteria’ meant ‘evidence in the application form which demonstrates that the (applicant) generally meets the level of competence required for each competence as well as meeting any of the qualifications skills or experience defined as essential.’ BT’s graduate Read Full Article…