HR Focus – January 2019

Veganuary blues? Is veganism a protected “philosophical belief”?

Veganism has become a byword for healthy and sustainable living, and most of you will have employees or colleagues taking part in ‘Veganuary’. In a landmark legal action, an employment tribunal is set to determine for the first time this spring whether veganism is a “philosophical belief” that is legally protected by the Equality Act 2010. Carolyn Bowie of our Glasgow Employment, Pensions and Immigration team explores this hot topic.

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Disability discrimination: What counts as ‘unfavourable’ treatment?

The Equality Act 2010 protects employees from being treated ‘unfavourably’ because of something arising from their disability. But what does the term ‘unfavourably’ mean in this context? Can a benefit or payment given to a disabled person amount to ‘unfavourable’ treatment if they might have received more in different circumstances? Louise Singh explains the recent Supreme Court decision in Williams v The Trustees of Swansea University Pension and Assurance Scheme.

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Pregnancy and Maternity discrimination: new consultation

The Government has published a new consultation on extending redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents once they have returned to work. Manchester-based Partner Phil Allen takes a closer look and explains when it may have particular impact.

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Cannabis on prescription: Do you need to change your workplace policies?

You may be aware that UK doctors are now able to prescribe cannabis for some medicinal purposes. Birmingham Associate Victoria Duddles considers what changes may be required to workplace policies and practices in light of this change.

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Q&A: winter weather: what if staff can’t make it into work?

Wintry weather has affected many parts of the UK this month and more of the same is forecast. Manchester Associate Ian Pace answers your snow-day questions.

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