Articles from Irwin Mitchell LLP

Seven things for schools and colleges to consider before 8 March 2021

@Helen_IMHRplus @IrwinMitchell shares seven things that schools and colleges should consider before pupils return en-mass on the 8th March 2021  On Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister set out the four steps his government plans to take to lift Covid restrictions in England. 

No vaccine, no job? Can FE Colleges insist their staff take the Covid-19 vaccine?

@Helen_IMHRplus @IrwinMitchell provides a deep dive on the Covid vaccine and staff from a legal perspective  Last month, the outspoken owner of Pimlico Plumbers said that he wouldn't offer a job to anyone who hasn't been vaccinated. Given that the vast majority of the UK's working population haven't been offered the vaccination yet, his approach is somewhat premature (as well as being, potentially, legally problematic). But, the issue of whether employers can insist that staff take the Covid-19 vaccine when it's offered to them is one that many are starting to grapple with. For example, it's reported that the National Care Association is taking legal advice about whether care homes can force care staff to have the vaccine after it emerged that up to one fifth of staff in some care home groups have refused to take it. What has the Government said about vaccination? There is no legal basis the government can rely on to force people to be vaccinated and the Green Book (which provides information for public health professionals on immunisation) says that a patient has to agree before their doctor can start any treatment. This includes administering a vaccine. The government has repeatedly emphasised that people will not be forced to have a vaccine if they don't want one. Instead, it has set out to persuade people that the vaccines are safe and that it's in everyone's interests to have one so that we can get back to some sort of normality. Clearly, if the government can't legally compel people to be vaccinated, you can't frog march your staff to the nearest vaccination centre either.

What's the best way to respond if your staff refuse to return to work because of concerns about coronavirus?

On January 4th the Prime Minister announced that England would go into a third national lockdown. The message was clear – everyone needed to stay at home to defeat the virus. And, despite reassuring the public on Sunday that schools and colleges were safe, less than 48 hours later, they were “vectors of transmission” and needed to close for all pupils other than those who were vulnerable or whose parents were key workers and for those sitting exams this month. Alternative provision, special schools and nurseries would remain open.

Holidays and Quarantine: Top 7 School and College Questions Answered

On Saturday night, the government announced it was removing Spain from the list of countries on its travel corridor scheme. This means that anyone returning from Spain, including the Balearics and Canaries, must self-isolate on their return to the UK for 14 days.

Face masks in schools and colleges - the new rules

Yesterday, the government changed its advice about wearing face masks in schools and colleges in England. Different rules apply in Scotland, and at the time of writing, the position in Wales hasn't been announced.

Self isolation legal advice for schools and colleges dealing with outbreaks

@JoMoseley1 from @irwinmitchell shares some legal advice for schools and colleges to help deal with Covid outbreaks or handling staff and pupils showing coronavirus symptoms. The autumn term has only just started and, already, schools and colleges are sending pupils and staff home because they have a cough or other coronavirus symptoms. 

Help is urgently needed from the Government if student accommodation providers are to survive Covid-19

University and FE providers generally need to be aware that the coronavirus pandemic has placed student accommodation providers in a dire situation. Not only are accommodation providers looking at empty rooms this academic year, but 20/21 numbers are anticipated to see a drop of up to 30%.

IRWIN MITCHELL ADVISES HARTPURY UNIVERSITY AND HARTPURY COLLEGE ON STUDENT ACCOMMODATION EXPANSION IN GLOUCESTER

National law firm @IrwinMitchell’s Real Estate Division has advised @Hartpury University and Hartpury College on their student accommodation expansion plans, in a deal worth around £17.5 million.

The recklessness of failing to collectively consult

Colleges needing to make redundancies of 20 or more employees, it is important to take into account the plethora of recent case law on redundancy collective consultation.

Apprenticeships – recent changes and those on the horizon

The subject of Apprenticeships is once again firmly on the government's agenda and an area where there has been recent reform with proposals for more to come. We have summarised below the recent changes and proposals, but first here's a reminder as to what apprenticeships are and the different ways further education (FE) colleges can engage apprentices.

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