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Local Authority round-up: 23/02/24

Our Local Authority round up provides brief summaries of topical information on a weekly basis, to keep you aware of the changes and updates relevant to you.


Government publishes new Code of Practice to tackle ‘fire and rehire’ tactics

The Government has recently published a new Code of Practice to tackle ‘fire and rehire’ tactics. ‘Fire and rehire’ practices refer to when an employer dismisses an employee, and subsequently offers them a new contract of employment on less favourable terms.

The Code makes it clear to employers that they must not use threats of dismissal to pressurise employees into accepting new terms of employment, nor should they raise the prospect of dismissal unreasonably early or threaten dismissal where it is not envisaged.

It is anticipated that the courts, and employment tribunals, will take the Code into account when considering employment disputes. The Government has stated that employment tribunals will have the power to apply an uplift of up to 25% of an employee’s compensation if an employer unreasonably fails to comply with the new Code.

The new Code seeks to clarify how employers should behave when seeking to change employees’ terms and conditions, aiming to ensure employees are properly consulted and treated fairly.

For more information, please click here.

Planning and Housing

Government propose to increase the control of ‘short-term letting’ for councils

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has launched consultations on making short-term lets subject to the planning process in order to afford councils greater control. It is also proposed that short term lets be placed on a mandatory national register to increase transparency in local communities.

Both of the proposed measures are focussed on short-term lets, and therefore the planning changes and the register will not affect hotels, hostels or B&Bs.

It is hoped that the reforms will support local people to find affordable homes to buy or rent, specifically in areas where short-term lets are high.

The Government has said that homeowners will still be able to let out their own main/sole home for up to 90 nights throughout the year, without planning permission, to ensure that the UK’s visitor economy remains flexible.

For more information, please click here.

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Government invests £66 million to help minimise anti-social behaviour

The Government has announced that every police force in England and Wales will receive at least £1 million to increase patrols in areas with high levels of anti-social behaviour, to tackle violence and disorder.

It is estimated that the funding will enable each force to deploy uniformed patrols for up to 20,000 hours in “hotspot” areas each year, helping to reduce crime and boost public confidence in their local force.

This approach has been piloted in 10 areas, resulting in 80,000 hours of patrols in the first six months since it launched. This has led to around 600 arrests,1,500 stop and searches and 700 uses of anti-social behaviour powers such as community protection notices and public protection orders.

The hotspot approach has helped cut anti-social behaviour by 40 per cent in Brunswick, according to data from the Police and Crime Commissioner. In Essex, the police have reported that incidents of anti-social behaviour have dramatically reduced with hotspot patrols in specific areas playing a key role.

This funding forms part of the Government’s Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, launched in March 2023, which includes measures to allow anti-social behaviour offenders to be deprioritised for social housing. It also builds upon the Criminal Justice Bill which strengthens the police and local authorities’ ability to tackle anti-social behaviour.

For more information, please click here.

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Promoting inclusivity in the workplace – A case study in manufacturing

In this new series, we will be exploring a range of different sectors, from technology to social housing, and discussing the challenges faced by employers to achieve greater inclusivity, as well as advising on what positive changes can be made in order to strengthen businesses.

In this session we will focus on the manufacturing industry. We will be joined by Rachel Mansfield, Managing Director, Responsive Engineering and Katie O’Brien, General Manager, Human Resources of Komatsu (UK) Limited, to discuss why workplace inclusivity is so important, why it is proving to be such a challenge in their sector and what employers can do to promote it.

The session will take place online on the 29th February 10:00am till 11:00am.

To register your place, please click here.

Webinar: Employment law update for schools

On Tuesday 5th March, at 10am, our employment law experts Graham Vials and Tom Shears will cover material changes and developments that HR professionals and school leaders ought to be aware of, including:

  • The reforms to holiday pay coming into effect from April 2024 and what this means for schools after Harpur Trust v Brazel
  • Upcoming extension to pregnancy and maternity law protection
  • Changes to the flexible working request regime; and
  • A summary of recent legal cases in the education sector

To register your place, please click here.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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