WATCH: Employment Law Update 2020 (Part 1)

A review of the most significant employment law cases over the past year.

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About this event

Our most popular annual event returns, this time as part of our new online 2020 Employment Law Webinar series. To better suit this new format, what was once a full-day conference has been broken down into two parts.

Every year, the Institute of Employment Rights brings together lawyers, academics and campaigners to update delegates on the cases and legislation that have had the most significant impact on workers’ rights over the past 12 months.

This year, the Coronavirus pandemic is inevitably the focus of the UK’s changing workplace, and our annual update reflects this.

Even with the government’s new Job Support Scheme to replace it, it is expected that over a million people will lose their jobs when the Job Retention Scheme is withdrawn. This comes after a tide of unemployment earlier in the year, when the nation first entered lockdown, and a steady increase of redundancies thereafter, which have disproportionately affected women.

At this conference, our experts will focus on the dirtiest aspects of worker exploitation that have arisen during the pandemic. Huge companies such as British Airways and British Gas have embarked upon – technically legal – ‘fire and rehire’ programmes, in which workers are sacked and then given the option to return to their roles with poorer terms and conditions. The Labour Party has called on the government to outlaw this inethical behaviour, but this is a gauntlet the Conservative Party is yet to pick up. Thompsons Solicitors have joined our panel to detail the law surrounding fire and rehire.

Elsewhere, reports abound of enormous job losses, and current evidence suggests that pregnant women and new mothers have been first in the firing line. ACAS joins us to remind delegates of official redundancy guidance and discuss these trends.

And of course, 2020 marked the first year in many that health and safety issues hit the front pages most days. Public awareness of their right to a safe workplace, and the failure of the law to provide one, has been heightened by the Coronavirus pandemic and questions have been asked of the responsibility of employers to their workers, and the responsibility of the State to enforce safe working practices. The TUC joins us to analyse the much-crtiticised guidance to employers provided throughout the pandemic and considers how workers can be better protected.


– Jo Seery, Thompsons Solicitors – ‘Fire and rehire tactics: what’s the legal position?’

– Michele Piertney, ACAS – ‘New redundancy guidance’

– Shelly Asquith, TUC – ‘Practical H&S guidance during and after covid’

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