Employment Legislation

Employment Legislation

Keeping yourself up to date with current and up and coming employment legislation can be a time consuming process. This is why we have made it easy for you. Below you will find all recent changes in the employment legislation as well as other employment legislation changes that are on the horizon.

Changes effective April 2021

4 April
Delayed from April 2020, Employers with more than 250 employees must publish the third round of gender pay gap reports.

6 April
Delayed from 06 April 2020, IR35 – the public sector off-payroll working rules will now apply to the private sector. From 6thApril, both large and medium-sized private companies will be required to follow the Off-Payroll working rule

6 April
Another employment legislation change coming into force today is the newpost-employment notice pay (PENP) Formula

30 April
The definitive texts of the EU and UK Trade Co-operation agreement will be published in the Official Journal today.

Late April
A full response from government to Law Commission report on employment law hearing structures is expected in Late April – what this space for more information.

Grandparental Leave

Date it’s effective: TBC

Key info: 

Grandparents will be able to take shared parental leave to allow parents to transfer part of their family-friendly leave to grandparents. 

Shared parental leave was introduced in April 2015, enabling working mothers to end their maternity leave in order to share leave and pay with their partner. 

By being able to share the leave with the child’s grandparents, it will provide an option for parents to return to work more quickly. It will also encourage more grandparents to remain in employment, rather than quit their jobs to help with childcare. 

New Law prohibiting confidentiality clause

Date it’s effective: TBC

Key info: 

UK Government is committed to introducing new legislation restricting the use of confidentiality clauses (or NDAs) in contracts and settlement agreements.

This will cover any form of agreement or contract in the context of a claim for discrimination, harassment and victimisation in which it is agreed that certain types of information will not be discussed or passed on.

The legislation will cover a broad range of workers, including agency workers and job applicants.

It is intended to prevent the inappropriate use of NDAs, which has the potential to discourage workers from speaking up.

Confidentiality clauses or agreements should be clearly drafted and properly explained to the worker before signing.

Clarity on employment status

Date it’s effective: TBC

Key info: 

The government launched a consultation on employment status in February 2018, seeking views on clarity for employers when determining employment status.

The consultation focuses around the three tiers system: self-employment, ‘worker’ status and full employment.

Tax and employment status are intrinsically linked and this consultation does not focus on tax status, however there have been suggestions put forward to not only make it easier to identify the type of worker but also what tax would be applied to them and who is responsible, as more information is presented, we will keep you informed.

Employment Legislation 2020
Laws on criminal record disclosures 

Date effective: 28 November 2020

Key info: 

The criminal records disclosure regime provides information through Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificates to employers about an individual’s criminal record. That information is then used by employers when considering the suitability of applicants for eligible roles or work. 

The Order removes the requirement for automatic disclosure of youth cautions, reprimands and warnings and removes the ‘multiple conviction’ rule, which required the automatic disclosure of all convictions where a person has more than one conviction, regardless of the nature of their offence or sentence. 

This will particularly benefit those with childhood cautions and those with minor offences who have moved away from their past. Convictions and adult cautions for offences specified on a list of serious offences, which received a custodial sentence, are recent or unspent will continue to be disclosed under other rules. 

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Right to request a more predictable and stable contract

Date effective: From 6 April 2020

Key info: 

All workers will have the right to request a more predictable and stable contractual working pattern after 26 weeks’ continuous service.

Examples of what might be requested include a guaranteed minimum number of hours and certainty as to the days on which they will be asked to work.

This new development will predominantly benefit individuals who are employed as casuals or on zero-hour contracts. An employer will have three months to make their decision on any such request.

Continuity of service

Date it’s effective: From 6 April 2020

Key info: 

Continuous service gap increased from 1 week to 4 weeks. 

This means employees can have a gap of up to four weeks in their service with an employer without it affecting their entitlement to statutory employment rights.  

The extension of time will make it easier for employees who work intermittently over a period of time for the same employer to access their rights. 

Employment Legislation 2019:
Redundancy protection for new parents to be extended

Date effective: October 2019

Key info: 

Legislation has been passed to create a legal obligation on employers to pass on all tips, gratuities and service charges to their staff.  

It will also be a legal requirement to distribute collected tips in a fair and transparent manner by following a statutory Code of Practice.  

The main elements are: 

  • Employers to pass on all tips, gratuities and service charges to workers without any deductions. 
  • Employers to distribute tips in a fair and transparent manner, where employers have control or significant influence over the distribution of tips. 
  • Employers to follow a statutory Code of Practice when distributing tips.  

Redundancy protection for new parents to be extended

Date effective: 22 July 2019

Key info:

6 months extension to enhanced redundancy protection for:

  • Pregnant workers,
  • those on maternity leave and
  • new parents returning to work after an extended period of family leave

Currently, a woman on maternity leave who is selected for redundancy must be given priority over other employees at risk of redundancy when suitable alternative employment is available.

Following consultation, this will be extended to staff on other types of parental leave:

  • Those who have returned from maternity leave in the previous six months and
  • those who have told their employer that they are pregnant.

The government has indicated it intends to extend this protection:

  • to adoptive parents and
  • those returning from shared parental leave
 
For further Employment legislation see the government website or alternatively the employment rights act here

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