29 May 2024
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Employment: To The Point

To The Point
(5 min read)

Highlights in this edition include our focus on workplace culture and transparency.  We examine possible fit note reforms, and what the business immigration salary threshold changes for skilled worker visas will mean for employers.  We also provide insight on the implications following the ban on non-compete clauses in the US and take a look at some recent industrial relations cases, including the Supreme Court decision in Mercer.  We also include our usual round-up of news, our horizon scanner and information on forthcoming events.

The challenge of workplace culture in 2024

How do you handle the allegations of bullying that today's more empowered workforce is willing to raise?  This month, we're exploring how to reconcile different perspectives about culture in the workplace in our lead article. Read the article here.

"Blowing the whistle" forms part of employers' focus on culture and transparency, with staff encouraged to "speak up" about their concerns.  TThe government has been considering a new law permitting disclosure of criminal conduct even where someone has signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).  This was in line with existing protection for whistleblowers, and the Solicitors Regulation Authority guidance about including appropriate carve-outs from employee settlement agreements.  

Of course, not every employee appreciates what flows from their whistleblowing complaint – they'll likely need to participate in an investigation, standing behind their complaint and dealing with colleague reactions.  Employers often overlook the support needed for all parties post-whistleblow – to the person speaking up, the person accused, and the colleagues involved as witnesses.  Consider providing mental health resources, and practical support with workload during this distracting time.  Consider also limiting legal risk by emphasising to all involved the need to remain professional, keep matters confidential and avoid "victimising" the complainant.  Legal advice is key during such investigations and can provide a safe space for privileged discussions.

Editorial - by Gerri Elliott


"Snowflakes" and "Dragons": The challenge of workplace culture in 2024

We provide insight into of the how to change the culture from the top down to address bullying behaviour and create a more inclusive, flexible and supportive workplace.  Read about what employers can do here.

Imposing detriments on striking workers: the Supreme Court decision 

We take a look at the Supreme Court's declaration that the absence of protection from detriment for participating in industrial action is incompatible with Art 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to freedom of association. Read more about the case here. 

UK Immigration Update: Salary threshold changes for Skilled Workers

Among a range of new immigration measures recently introduced in April 2024, the Home Office has increased the salary thresholds for Skilled Workers.  Read about the latest developments here

International Update: US sounds the death-knell on non-compete clauses

The United States Federal Trade Commission has issued a Final Rule to prohibit the use of non-compete clauses for most American workers.  Find out what it means here

Upcoming events

Our annual Employment and Immigration Training Day for in-house lawyers and senior HR professionals will be taking place in our London office on Wednesday, 3 July 2024.

We will be covering key people priorities for 2024 and we are delighted to be joined by Jo Smedley, co-founder of Zest Learning, a professional leadership development consultancy, as part of our session on the role of ethics in the business of law and changing workplace culture.  It promises to be a very popular event and for more information, please visit the registration page here.

For our Employment and Immigration Training Calendar 2024 listing all our client training events, please visit our website page here.


What else you should know

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