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  • Writer's pictureSusan Wakelin

New Employment Laws, Updates, and Advice from SWan HR

It’s important to us that you stay to date on any legislative changes so we’ve compiled a list of different changes, updates and advice for you.

Many of these changes will not come into force until 2024, but it’s better to be prepared. If you’re concerned about any of these changes, you can contact us today and we can provide HR support for you to suit

Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023

Receiving Royal Assent on the 2nd May 2023, employers will now be required to pass 100% of tips, gratuities and service charges via a fair process of distribution. Expected to come into fruition in May 2024 (though no official date has been given), this new legislation is to rectify the deficit of gratuity received by employees – after research suggested that employers in the UK were deducting as much as 10% from the tips given to their workers.

The Act creates a legal requirement for employers to allocate tips fairly and transparently between workers, which could be a much needed respite for workers, especially those in hospitality that are working for minimum wage during unsocial hours. There will be ways to incorporate this into your work culture without too much difficulty, especially if you already use cloud bookkeeping and accountancy tools. However, if this is something that will impact your business, you can contact us here for additional support.

Carer’s Leave Act 2023

This is quite an exciting new law which will give unpaid carers the right to up to five days unpaid leave per year, to provide care for someone with a long-term care need who is dependent on them. One of the biggest challenges for carers is how invisible the struggle can be for them. Many find it difficult to ask for support, or simply view it as ‘looking after family’ without acknowledging the additional stress and physical demands of being a carer. This new act provides flexibility for carers as they manage doctor’s appointments, therapy and any other provisions required for those they care for.

Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023

Already in force, Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) increases the protections from redundancy for pregnant workers and new parents who have recently returned to work including provisions which may result in dismissal being treated as unfair. This is an amendment of the Employment Rights Act 1996 which extends the protections to after maternity leave, adoption leave and shared parental leave – starting from the date the employee notifies their employer of their pregnancy – and the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999 which makes pregnancy as a cause for dismissal automatically unfair. If you’re interested in knowing more about the new protections being afforded to employees, contact us here.

Strike (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023

Despite having strong opposition from trade unions, and criticisms of its limitations on workers’ rights, The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 makes provisions for the government to set minimum service levels in several key sectors including health, transport, fire and rescue and education during strike action. The aim is to reduce the impact of strike action on the general public, and the consultations on what the ‘minimum service levels’ in these areas will be are still in progress.

This continues to be quite a turbulent legislation as the Trades Union Congress have vowed to continue fighting it on the basis it undermines the fundamental right strike – so we may see continued changes and amendments moving forward.

However, HR will be essential in supporting employers in the relevant sectors to decide on the staffing resources required to meet these minimum service levels. Independent businesses will also need to put in place procedures for issuing work notices to the relevant trade union after they have notified the employer of intended strike action, and employers will need to familiarise themselves with any code of practice issued by the Trade Union to as to maintain compliance.

Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023

New parents will be able to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave, in addition to existing leave entitlements, if their child has been hospitalised (up to 28 days after birth) for a full week or more. There are still several steps before this Act can be fully enacted as legislation, however it is designed to provide protection and support to those parents who need it to spend more time with their baby during such a difficult time. It isn’t expected to come into force until April 2025, however provisions in the Act are anticipated to start much earlier. If you’d like some support providing this support to your employees, contact us here.

Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023

This legislation will give employees (including those with zero hour contracts) the legal right to request a predictable working pattern. The structure of the requests will follow similar standards of conduct as flexible working requests which are already legally protected as a right for employees, and employers will have to notify the employee of their decision within one month of the request. ACAS are expected to produce an updated Code of Practice for further guidance in handling requests, but if you’d like to know more about how your flexible working is protected already check out our blog on flexible working here.

Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) Act 2023

We’ve seen the Auto-Enrolment Pension scheme in effect since 2012, so this amendment comes as an anniversary of sorts. Once implemented, it will lower the age at which eligible workers must be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme by their employer to 18. The Department of Work and Pensions will launch a consultation on implementing these measures soon, but in the meantime, SWan HR can provide support and consultation for those staff that will be impacted.

This legislation will impact businesses and employers of all sizes, so if you’re concerned about how it will affect you and your staff, contact SWan HR here to find out how we can help you.

SWan HR Consultancy (London and Kent)

SWan HR is an HR consultancy that specialises in HR support for small to medium sized businesses in the South East.

"Where HR Succeeds, the Business Achieves"

SWan HR was founded by Susan Wakelin, MCIPD, who is a qualified HR professional with over thirty years' experience, from setting up, auditing and improving HR functions to management coaching and supporting organisations through difficult situations, transformation and change.

SWan HR provides a broad range of tailored HR services including an HR audit, HR advice, HR outsourcing, HR coaching and project work for all businesses.

Free HR consultation

Contact Susan Wakelin now to take advantage of a free half-hour consultation to talk through your initial HR concerns and how you can manage these going forward.

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