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In this article, we set out the likely impact of the new regulatory watchdog and the new risks for businesses. We also look to the future of UK environmental regulation and enforcement.
Following the publication of The Legal 500 UK 2022, we are proud to announce that the firm has once again achieved impressive rankings and recognition within the latest guide to leading law firms and lawyers.
Millions of people have migrated from working in traditional office settings to working from their own living rooms.
Following the landmark High Court decision in the case of The Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain v The Secretary of State for Work & Pensions and others  the law has now been amended to extend the rights afforded by section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) to encompass detriment suffered by ‘workers’ as well as employees.
Currently COVID-19 and long COVID (where COVID-19 symptoms last more than 12 weeks) is not recognised as an occupational disease in the UK.
The Fire Safety Act 2021 was made law on 29 April 2021 having been introduced to parliament in March 2020. This is an important piece of legislation with potentially significant ramifications for those organisations considered “Responsible Persons” under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The Act isn’t yet in force but it is expected to be so by the end of 2021 and is another step towards a strengthened fire safety regime for multi-occupancy residential buildings.
Case review 02-09-2021
The recent criminal case of Plaku and others v The Queen [23.04.21] has refocused judges’ minds on when it is appropriate to award a discount of an offender’s sentence and how much of a discount should be applied. It is noted by this case that over time, practices have started to develop whereby different levels of discounts are applied at different stages and Plaku refers sentencing judges back to the original guidelines to reintroduce consistency.
The Work and Pensions Committee will examine the current risks posed by asbestos in the workplace, the actions taken by the Health and Safety Executive to mitigate them and how its approach compares to those taken in other countries.
On 2 March 2021, the Victorian Government released the final report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. The Commission highlighted the strains on the mental health system and found that people obtaining mental health services ‘are not treated with dignity or respect and are not involved in making decisions about their own treatment, care and support’. It also found ‘an excessive use of restrictive practices and compulsory treatment’.
For most people, getting their COVID-19 vaccine will be as simple as booking an appointment and presenting for a ‘jab’, but for those who lack capacity to consent to the vaccine, who can be among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, the process is less straightforward. The law in this area involves a careful balancing of the patient’s right to autonomy and self-determination with the right to life and the highest attainable standard of health. While the issue of capacity to consent to medical treatment is far from novel, some recent UK cases relating to COVID-19 vaccine refusal highlight what may be taken into account by a court in such cases.