Editor's message: The recruitment and retention of nurses, doctors and social care staff continues to be a pressing issue for NHS employers, particularly in the ever-changing Brexit landscape. For example, there has been a dramatic fall in the number of nurses that have entered the country since the 2016 referendum and this exacerbated an already acute shortage. The implications of Brexit on immigration laws is likely to result in a further reduction in the number of EU workers in key roles in the NHS. Despite the huge impact that Brexit will have on recruitment and retention within the NHS there are other issues that also need urgent attention.
Equality and diversity remain high on the HR agenda within the NHS. The workforce race equality standard aims to tackle inequalities faced by employees from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in relation to various aspects of their employment, including career progression and disciplinary proceedings. We recently explored what workforce equality standards actually mean for NHS employers.
Susan Dennehy, employment law editor
Updated to include the details of five new pay awards across the sector.
In an unexpected policy switch the government this afternoon exempted overseas NHS staff and care workers from paying a surcharge to use the health service.
The government has stated that non-EEA family members of any NHS, healthcare or social care worker who has died as a result of coronavirus, will receive immediate indefinite leave to remain, free of charge.
Updated to reflect an increase in the cap on a week's pay, with effect from 6 April 2020.
Home secretary Priti Patel has announced that frontline NHS workers whose visas are due to expire before 1 October will be granted free automatic extensions to allow them to remain in the country and support the coronavirus effort.
Given the covid-19 coronavirus has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, chancellor Rishi Sunak's Budget announcement yesterday was rightly focused on the how the Government would support employers and workers as the UK attempts to contain the spread of the virus.
In Badara v Pulse Healthcare Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that the employer should not have relied solely on negative Home Office checks when it dismissed the employee for failing to provide right to work documentation.
HR professionals in public authorities may think that the extension of IR35 reforms to the private sector in April 2020 will not affect them. However, public-sector bodies need to be aware of some proposed changes to the rules.
In Ibrahim v HCA International Ltd, the Court of Appeal reiterated the two-step test for an employment tribunal to follow when deciding if the claimant had a reasonable belief that the disclosures they were making were "in the public interest".
In Bessong v Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that the Equality Act 2010 cannot be interpreted to make an NHS trust vicariously liable for race discrimination for a patient's racially motivated attack on a mental-health nurse.
HR and legal information, news and guidance relating to employers in the health sector.