Last days of May’s government sees more workers’ rights promised

As an employer representative it feels to me like the outgoing government had more energy for domestic issues in its last three weeks than in the preceding three years with a flurry of consultations, responses to consultations and policy papers. I wrote last week about SSP, but that was only the start of it. Here’s a summary of what happened before Mr Johnson took over the reins:

Topic Implementation stage and sponsor Implementation date/coverage Proposals
Good Work Plan: one-sided flexibility

 

Consultation

11.10.19

BEIS

TBC          Require an employer to provide a “reasonable” period of notice prior to their shift starting

–         No detriment if turn down shift with less than notice

–         Maybe qualifying period before notice must be provided

–         Record keeping of notice in writing!

Pay compensation if shifts cancelled without prior notice

Good Work Plan: Proposals to support families Consultation

BEIS

11.10.19 and 29.11.19

TBC A new leave and pay entitlement for parents of babies that require neonatal care after birth. One week of Neonatal Leave and Pay for every week that their baby is in neonatal care, up to a maximum number of weeks. This would apply to parents of babies who had spent a minimum of two continuous weeks in neonatal care immediately after birth. A day one right to leave.

A duty to consider if a job can be done flexibly and make that clear when advertising a role. Large employers (those with 250 or more employees) to have a duty to publish their family related leave and pay and flexible working policies.

Review shared parental pay

Consider maternity/adoption leave in separate blocks

 

 

Maternity etc discrimination Government response to consultation

BEIS

 

TBC Redundancy protection (under Reg 10 of the Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations (1999)) period applies from the point the employee informs the employer that she is pregnant – the ‘bumping’ rules. Extend redundancy protection period for six months once a new mother/adopter has returned to work – same for shared parental leave. Establish a taskforce of employer and family representative groups. The taskforce will make recommendations
Good Work Plan: Holiday pay reference period Regulations laid

BEIS

 

6 April 2020

GB only

Holiday pay reference period to be extended to 52 weeks from 12 (reg 16 of WTR). If gaps in working so you have to go back earlier than 52 weeks, then 2 years back is the maximum so there may be less than 52 weeks

 

All workers to be given enhanced Ts&Cs on day one

 

Regulations laid

 

6 April 2020

GB only

How long a job is expected to last (or end date of a fixed term contract)

How much notice is required?

Details of eligibility for sick leave and pay

Details of other types of paid leave (e.g. maternity/paternity leave)

Duration and conditions of any probationary period

Remuneration (not just pay)

Which specific days and times workers are required to work.

Removal of Swedish derogation Regulations laid 6 April 2020

GB only

Agency workers must have Ts&Cs equalised after 12 weeks at client
NDAs Response to consultation

GEO & BEIS

Probably 2020 as awaits outcome of sexual harassment consultation The response confirms an intent to implement new legislation “when Parliamentary time allows” to provide that a confidentiality clause cannot prevent disclosures to the Police and other bodies and that the implications must be clearly explained in employment contracts and settlement agreements
Sexual harassment in the workplace Consultation

2.10.19

GEO

TBC Code of Practice to help employers take all the steps they can to prevent harassment from happening

 

Good Work Plan: Single Labour Market Enforcement Body Consultation

BEIS/Home Office

TBC the EAS, HMRC and the Gangmaster’s’ and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) will work more closely together. Remove NMW policing from HMRC

Introduce holiday pay and SSP policing

Good Work Plan: ill health related job loss and reform of statutory sick pay

 

Consultation

7.10.19

DWP/ Dept of Health & Social Care

TBC New right to request work(place) modifications for employees not covered under the current EqA duty to make reasonable adjustments provisions; Reform of SSP: phased return financial support, extension to those under LEL, change to qualifying days, reintroduce rebates for SMEs, include sick pay policies in day 1 Ts&Cs, Reporting absence via RTI

 

Gender equality roadmap

 

Policy paper Cabinet Office and GEO N/A Will consult on measures to encourage all employers to consider advertising all jobs as flexible from the outset

A requirement for large (250+) employers to make public their parental leave and flexible working policies as part of gender pay gap reporting

Criminal record reform

 

Policy paper

MoJ

During 2019 Some sentences of over four years will no longer have to be disclosed to employers after a specified period of time has passed. This change will not apply where offences attract the most serious sentences, including life, or for serious sexual, violent and terrorism offences. The period of time for which shorter sentences and community sentences must be revealed to employers will be scaled back