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Monica Kurnatowska

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Monica Kurnatowska is a partner in the Firm's London office. She focuses on employment law and has been recognised by Chambers UK as a leading lawyer in her field. Monica is a regular speaker at internal and external seminars and workshops, and has written for a number of external publications on bonus issues, atypical workers, TUPE and outsourcing.

Our quarterly “Working with Unions” bulletin is designed to keep employers updated with key cases and legal developments affecting trade unions and employee representative bodies. Our latest bulletin covers the period of April to June 2021 and includes an interesting Central Arbitration Committee decision considering the effect of Brexit on UK European Works Councils and a decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal reading down section 146 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 to give workers protection from detriment for taking industrial action.

As diversity and inclusion (D&I) has risen to the forefront of corporate agendas globally, pressure for organizations to accelerate progress around this space has been further intensified by recent social movements, rising stakeholder pressure and the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on communities of color and women. Baker McKenzie examines the role that compliance leaders have to play in a report, in collaboration with Howlett Brown.

The use of algorithmic decision-making in recruitment to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of process is unsurprisingly on the rise.  Put simply this technology can enable companies to review far greater numbers of applications at speed, and, in theory, allow for an unbiased approach to recruitment decision making.  However, as the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has set out in its recent guidance on this topic, employers should take a critical and careful approach to when and how this technology is applied. If not applied carefully these tools can serve to actually exacerbate the inequalities that they are aiming to address, and could cause employers to fall foul of the UK’s equality and data protection legislation.

The EU Commission has proposed a directive that would reinforce the entitlement to equal pay for men and women for the same work, or work of equal value, including by giving employees the right to comparative pay information and by requiring gender pay gap reporting for employers with 250+ employees, amongst other measures. Some EU member states already have aspects of these rules, while others do not, meaning that the rules could be a significant additional compliance burden for some organisations. The rules, if adopted, would be unlikely to come into force before late 2024.

The Black Lives Matter movement, accelerated by the murder of George Floyd, sparked a global awakening to racial disparities in society. Impassioned protests were promptly followed by donations to non-governmental organisations and corporate statements of allyship. Over nine months on from George Floyd’s death in May 2020, we explore what long-term impact this epiphany could have for employers, the workforce, and employment law.

In brief The Black Lives Matter movement, accelerated by the murder of George Floyd, sparked a global awakening to racial disparities in society. Impassioned protests were promptly followed by donations to non-governmental organisations and corporate statements of allyship. Over nine months on from George Floyd’s death in May 2020, we…

The COVID-19 crisis has brought into focus the obligations of service providers towards customers with disabilities. In particular, there were reports of some retailers failing to recognise legitimate exceptions to rules regarding wearing face coverings and/or handling enquiries about exemptions with a lack of sensitivity. The issue of “hidden disabilities” became particularly significant in that context. Heavy reliance on online service channels highlighted the importance of ensuring that those services were fully accessible to customers with a range of disabilities, particularly as those channels were tested by a sudden uptick in demand. Older customers and customers with disabilities who relied on online shopping and in-store assistance found that they could not access the same level of support. Reconfiguration of store access to facilitate social distancing required retailers to re-assess whether those arrangements created difficulties for those with mobility and other impairments. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued some helpful guidance to retailers in response to some of the issues that had arisen.

The COVID-19 crisis has brought into focus the obligations of service providers towards customers with disabilities. In particular, there were reports of some retailers failing to recognise legitimate exceptions to rules regarding wearing face coverings and/or handling enquiries about exemptions with a lack of sensitivity. The issue of “hidden disabilities” became particularly significant in that context. Heavy reliance on online service channels highlighted the importance of ensuring that those services were fully accessible to customers with a range of disabilities, particularly as those channels were tested by a sudden uptick in demand. Older customers and customers with disabilities who relied on online shopping and in-store assistance found that they could not access the same level of support. Reconfiguration of store access to facilitate social distancing required retailers to re-assess whether those arrangements created difficulties for those with mobility and other impairments. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued some helpful guidance to retailers in response to some of the issues that had arisen.