Articles from Karen Roberts

Reasonable adjustments: do you have to maintain the pay rate of an employee who has moved to a lower paid job because of their disability?

In Aleem v E-Act Academy Trust Limited, the Employment Appeals Tribunal confirmed that a school didn't have to continue to pay a teacher at their previous higher rate of pay after being moved to a lower paid role because of their disability.

Everyone's invited: what's the best way for colleges to respond to allegations against members of staff?

Allegations that many schools, colleges and universities have a 'rape culture' have dominated news headlines. The website everyone's invited has published thousands of anonymous online testimonies in which young people detail their accounts of sexual harassment, rape, abuse and assault. 

Why is menopause an issue for colleges?

Last month, Channel 4 aired a documentary - Sex, Myths and the Menopause, presented by Davina McColl. It revealed that many women experiencing menopausal symptoms are wrongly diagnosed and are prescribed medicines that don't tackle the core issue. Even those women who know that their symptoms are caused by menopause are often deterred from taking HRT because they are worried about developing breast cancer. In fact, only one in ten women take HRT in the UK despite overwhelming evidence that HRT has huge health benefits for most women and carries very few risks. 

New rules on face masks - another health and safety landmine for schools and colleges to navigate

As we know the government announced that a number of restrictions are being lifted today (Monday 17 May 2021), in line with 'step three' of its roadmap out of lockdown. In the context of education, it said that school pupils and college students won't have to wear masks in the classroom or communal areas, and has published new guidance on face coverings in education. It also recommends that staff should ditch their masks when teaching in classrooms but continue to wear them outside of classrooms where social distancing isn't possible. 

Holidays abroad - Employers questions answered

@Helen_IMHRplus from @irwinmitchell shares some helpful employment law info on holidays abroad during the next stage of the Covid-19 pandemic   Earlier this month, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said that people can 'start to think about foreign travel' again. He didn't say when the government will re-open international travel to holiday makers and those who wish to visit families living overseas, but we do know that it won't be before Monday 17 May. 

How are college estates reacting to today's changing real estate environment?

David Hutber @irwinmitchell discusses the major changes to Property Law that could impact the FE Sector Covid-19 has brought in major changes to property law, which though mostly temporary in nature, will affect many landlords and tenants in the short term. Longer term the government is pushing for the UK to be more environmentally friendly; with real estate playing a major part in those plans. And we have Brexit, which although partially forgotten because of the pandemic, affects every sector including real estate.

Six ways your organisation can support 'trans' employees

@Helen_IMHRplus @irwinmitchell explains how your organisation can support 'trans' employees  According to @stonewalluk around 1% of the UK population might identify as trans*, including people who identify as non-binary**. That's around 600,000 people. Over the last few years, there's been an increase in awareness around gender identity and many organisations are exploring ways to make their workplaces inclusive and safe places to work and visit. 

Long Covid – the implications for FE employers

@Helen_IMHRplus from @IrwinMitchell discusses the #LongCovid implications for FE Employers  Official UK data suggests nearly 10% of people with Covid still have symptoms 12 weeks after infection. And, there's anecdotal evidence that some people are still suffering from debilitating health issues months after being infected. Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, has said the picture is concerning. “These figures are somewhat more worrying even than many had feared. If one extrapolates to global Covid-19 cases, this means there are 5-10 million people out there with a long-term condition for which we have no current explanation and no treatment plan,” he said, adding there was no information on how long the condition lasts.

Has the Regulator refused to authorise mass daily Covid testing in schools and colleges?

DfE asked schools and Colleges in England to get ready for daily mass Covid testing before Christmas Just before Christmas, the DfE asked secondary schools and colleges in England to get ready for daily mass Covid testing. It started sending out tests in the first week of January and published guidance, precedent letters and training materials to help them prepare. We can't find any confirmed data which sets out how many schools and colleges have started testing, but are aware that many have done so.  

Irwin Mitchell Advise Boston College on new college campus for adult learners in Horncastle, Lincolnshire

National law firm @IrwinMitchell is advising @BostonCollegeUK in its partnership with East Lindsey District Council to create a new college campus for adult learning, including digital skills, and a public sector hub in Horncastle, Lincolnshire.

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This conference will be an opportunity to discuss the future for SEND provision in England, following the expected publication of the Government’s...

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