0370 1500 100

Brexit: Government publishes “no deal” advice to schools and colleges

The prospect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal is becoming more likely. Parliament has not approved the Withdrawal Agreement and, as things stand, the UK will leave the UK by operation of law on 29 March 2019.

To help schools and colleges prepare, the government has published guidance which provides advice on; admissions, the recognition of teaching qualifications, teacher sanctions, travel and the Erasmus scheme. Our experts summarise the advice.

Ofsted plans overhaul of inspections to look beyond exam results

The way nurseries, schools and colleges in England are inspected is to undergo its biggest overhaul in a decade, with proposals by Ofsted aiming to address concerns that education has been too narrowly focused on exam results.

According to the Guardian, schools that push out less able children – a practice known as “off-rolling” – or teach a narrow curriculum designed solely to improve test results and gaming league table rankings risk being punished by Ofsted’s inspectors.  

Ofsted are consulting on its education inspection framework 2019. The consultation ends on 5 April 2019.

The new framework is expected to come into force in September this year.

Employment judgments must remain public

A feature of the employment tribunal system often overlooked by both sides is the publication of tribunal judgments. Since February 2017, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service has published all tribunal judgments and written reasons via the online public register

You might be thinking that you need to go to that specific online Register address to access the judgments, but this is not the case.  A simple entry into the Google search engine of the surname of the claimant and the name of the respondent will bring up the relevant publication(s).  For many, this has been a worrying development, as whatever the employment tribunal judge decides to record in the written decision/reasons will be there for all to see.

A recent decision in the Employment Appeals Tribunal has made it clear that that judgments must remain open to the public – even if they contain sensitive or embarrassing information or mention evidence given by witnesses who are not party to the claim.

Changes to "right to work" immigration checks

The Home Office Right to Work Checking Service was launched in April 2018. It is free to use and enables UK employers to check the current right to work of a person and to see whether they are subject to any restrictions. 

The system works on the basis of the individual first viewing their own Home Office right to work record online. They may then share this information with an employer by giving them their "share code" to access the record but they still needed to request paper documents. 

From 28 January 2019 employers will be able to rely solely on an online check where a prospective employee has an immigration status that can be checked using the service. 

Guidance for employers and EU citizens on the pilot EU Settlement Scheme 

The government has published a guide to help EU citizens to apply for settled status ahead of 29 March 2019 (the day the UK will exit the EU). Applicants can apply using the app (which only works on android phones/technology). The process is supposed to be relatively quick (but anecdotal evidence suggests that is not always the case).

EU citizens wishing to remain in the UK post Brexit need to apply before 30 June 2021 for settled or pre-settled status in order to remain in the UK after 30 June 2021. In case of no deal, the application deadline for settled status will be brought forward to 31 December 2020.

EU citizens do not now have to pay the £65 fee.

Government says it will not make any immediate changes to gender pay gap reporting

The government has published its response to the BEIS Committee’s suggestions for reforming GPG reporting which makes it clear that it will not make any immediate changes to the regulations.

Specifically:

  • Organisations with 50 or more employees will not have to publish their GPG but will be “encouraged” to do so. 
  • Partner remuneration will remain excluded from the reporting regime.
  • No changes will be made to the reporting requirements. [The Committee had suggested part-time and full-time gender pay gap statistics should be reported separately and that salary quartiles are changed to deciles.]
  • The government will not be revising the guidance published jointly by Acas and the Government Equalities Office (GEO). 

Government publishes guidance on new laws regarding payslips

From 6 April 2019, all workers must receive payslips. Plus, the payslips for workers who are paid by the hour must clearly set out the number of hours they have been paid for.

The government has published guidance to help organisations understand these new requirements. It includes a number of examples, including for term time workers.

Government consults on extending redundancy protection for women and new parents

The government has launched a consultation which will extend is Regulation 10 of the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999 which requires a woman being made redundant during maternity leave to be offered alternative work when there is a suitable available vacancy. It is proposing to extend that right so that it begins when the women informs her employer that she is pregnant and continues to apply for six months after her return. 

The Government also suggests making similar provision in relation to employees taking shared parental leave and adoption leave.

The consultation ends on 5 April 2019.

Key Contact

Jenny Arrowsmith