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  • Sophie Forrest

Employment Law Changes 2023

Over the last few years, other than legislation relating to COVID-19, there has been little significant development in employment law. However, as we continue through 2023, we are expecting to see large changes to employment law with significant employment legislation introduced to parliament

It is expected that some of these Bills will be approved and become Acts at some point in 2023, these include:

1. Flexible working

The requirement to have 26 weeks continuous service to make a request will be abolished. Instead, it will become an employment right from day 1 of employment.

There will be a new requirement on employers to fully consult with their employee when intending to decline the request.

The rule of allowing employees to only make one request in a 12-month period will be abolished and instead, employees will be able to make two requests.

The time limit in which to fully respond to an employee’s request, including the time taken to hear an appeal, will be reduced from three to two months.

2. Neonatal leave and pay

Neonatal care is the type of care a baby receives in a neonatal unit if they are born premature, sick, or with a low birth weight. The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill proposes to introduce new employment leave and pay rights for employees of parents of babies that are admitted into hospital as a neonate (28 days old or less).

Full detail is to be confirmed, but it is thought that the entitlement to leave will be from Day 1 but the entitlement to pay will be subject to the employee having a certain amount of continuous service and minimum earnings as is the case with other family friendly entitlements.

3. Carer’s leave

If approved the Carer’s Leave Bill would give employees who are unpaid carers the statutory right to take up to one week (five working days) of unpaid leave per year. It is expected, although legislation is yet to be drafted, that it will be a Day 1 right for those with employee status (not worker status) and that the person they care for will broadly need to meet the definition of a dependant as per the right to time off for dependants.

The person cared for would need to have a long-term care need such as one that is long-term physical or mental, or an injury or disability, or issues related to old age.

4. Protection against redundancy for pregnant employees

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill, if introduced, would extend existing legislation that provides employees on maternity leave to greater employment rights in a redundancy situation to any other employee.

5. Allocation of tips in full

The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill would enable workers to receive tips, gratuities and service charges paid by customers that are earned in full, meaning that an employer would be required to pass on all tips without deduction.

6. To place a legal duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill would amend the parts of the Equality Act 2010 that deal with harassment. Specifically, if passed, it would place a legal duty on employers to prevent the sexual harassment of its employees, and place liability on employers for harassment of its employees by third parties.

Contact us for further information or to discuss how these changes may impact your business.

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