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Paul Grindley

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Paul Grindley is our business employment law expert

Clear, helpful and really good to work with. Prompt responses at all times.

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Business employment law

Business employment law is a fast changing and complex area of law. At Winston Solicitors we recognise the importance of providing clear and practical commercial advice and solutions. Our employment solicitors are recommended in Chambers & Partners.

We can advise on all aspects of employment law which may affect your business and act for many employers across a wide range of businesses. Paul is well known and regarded for giving on the spot, focussed advice and how to implement steps to ensure you and your business are protected. He has particular expertise in dealing with senior executive terminations, restructuring, redundancies, handling disciplinary situations, complex fraud and discrimination. We can handle your case from start to finish in the event that you face proceedings in the employment tribunal.

Call us on 0113 218 5459 to find out more

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The concept of a protected conversation was introduced in 2013 enabling an employer to enter into discussions (“out of the blue”) with an employee with a view to terminating their employment under a settlement agreement, without the parties being able to rely on the details of the conversation as evidence in an unfair dismissal claim. The purpose of the legislation is to enable employers to facilitate the exit of underperforming staff without the necessity of going through a lengthy formal performance management process which can be stressful for both parties.

Unfortunately, the interaction between annual leave and furlough leave is not currently clear and there are several potential issues with allowing or requiring workers to take annual leave during furlough. Employers may be concerned with the effect of employees taking annual leave on their ability to obtain reimbursement from HMRC. Furlough leave needs to be taken in blocks of 3 weeks so arguably cannot be interrupted by annual leave. However , under the Working Time Regulations , an employer can require an employee to take annual leave by giving notice of twice the length of leave to be taken . So an employer could in theory require that every third week of furlough leave is to be taken as annual leave !

No. However withholding 20% of salary would amount to a breach of contract and unlawful deductions of wages unless the employee gives their consent. It is expected that the majority of employees will consent since furlough leave is a much better alternative than unpaid leave, lay off or redundancy.

The scheme states that employees must be furloughed for a minimum of 3 weeks. What is not clear is how long the employee may return to work after a period of furlough leave before being placed on furlough leave again.

An employee can request this but the employer does not have to agree. It is the employer’s decision which employees to place on furlough leave. It is unclear whether refusing to place employees on furlough leave and making them redundant instead could amount to unfair dismissal.