BCLP At Work

BCLP At Work

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Coronavirus (UK): Managing the rise of DSARs and redundancies during the Coronavirus pandemic

Introduction

During the Coronavirus pandemic, there has been a rise in the number of both redundancies and data subject access requests (“DSARs”). This rise has placed increased pressure on HR teams and Data Protection Officers (“DPOs’”), who are having to grapple with this burden alongside the other day to day challenges posed by the pandemic. This article provides a snapshot of the recent trends and some practical tips from our employment team for dealing with them effectively and/or minimising legal risk.

Redundancies

The Office for National Statistics (“ONS”) recently reported that there were 726,000 fewer people in payrolled employment in January 2021 compared to February 2020. More broadly, it has noted that the UK unemployment rate in the last quarter of 2020 was 1.3% higher than in the same period of 2019. In light of such figures, the ONS has commented that “the increase in UK redundancy rates during the Coronavirus pandemic is faster than during the 2008-2009 economic downturn”.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated in his March 2021 Budget that, whilst Government interventions to support jobs have worked, and the Office for Budget Responsibility’s expected peak unemployment rate has lowered from 11.9% to 6.5%, job loss is very much

UK HR Solutions: Managing disciplinary issues

Welcome to the second post in our new weekly series of hands-on guidance for UK HR professionals. In this series we look at common HR issues that you’ll encounter in the workplace and give you practical guidance on how to deal with them. Over the course of the series we’re covering a variety of topics, such as how to handle grievances, suspensions, poor performance, sickness absence and much more besides.

This week we look at disciplinaries.

Click here to read our step by step guide on what to do when a disciplinary issue arises.

Mental health issues at work – #TimetoTalk Day

February 6, 2020

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Today is Time to Talk Day focusing on ending the stigma of mental ill-health in the workplace.

Mental ill-health costs UK employers up to £42 billion annually due to poor productivity, sickness absence and staff turnover. With the number of stress and anxiety workplace-related cases increasing by over 37% just last year, this is a key topic for employers.

Over the last several years there has been a growing recognition of the need for employers to proactively foster mental wellbeing in the workplace and of the benefits this can bring. This is a noticeable shift from the historic approach, which tended to focus more on dealing with the problems only after staff had gone off sick.

#TimetoTalk encourages staff to have conversations about mental health so that they can be more open about the issue and can ask for support if they need it. This reflects key aspects of good practice that employers can adopt to foster good mental health and wellbeing, including:

developing mental health awareness amongst staff by making information, tools and support accessible; destigmatising mental ill-health, for example via networks and support groups, and training up staff to spot the early signs of a mental

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