As a Kent HR consultant, I keep an eye on changes and proposed changes to employment law that might impact my customers. In this article I’ve listed some recent changes and have a look forward at what is coming up in 2023.
Employment Law Changes during 2022
As previously detailed, July 20th 2022 saw the landmark Supreme Court ruling in the Harpur Trust v Brazel case. The court rejected the use of the 12.07% calculation method for leave and pay for part-year workers. It also confirmed that part-year workers are entitled to the full 5.6 weeks’ annual leave, and their holiday allowance should not be pro-rated.
As part of this government’s battle against strikers, the ban on hiring temporary workers to undertake duties normally performed by striking workers was repealed. Thus making it easier for employers to reduce the impact of industrial action on their businesses.
On 22nd September, the new UK and London rates for the ‘Real Living Wage’ were announced. Participating employers have until May 2023 to implement the changes.
Right to Work checks which allowed employers to check employees identities via video call during the Covid pandemic were replaced on 1st October. A new permanent system of digital right to work checks were implemented.
In autumn 2022 it felt like we had a new government every fortnight. One of the employment laws that Rishi Sunak’s team repealed was the Health and Social Care Levy. The 1.25% national insurance increase which started on 6th April 2022 was reversed. Employers who added the ‘1.25% uplift in NICs funds NHS, health & social care’ message to payslips had to remove it.
On 5th December 2022, the use of Exclusivity Clauses for people on or under the ‘lower earnings limit’ (currently £123/week) was banned.
2023 HR and Employment Law Dates to Note
1st January 2023 – The new CIPD Code of Conduct and Ethics takes effect.
20th January 2023 – The 3rd reading of Bills in Parliament to make it unlawful for employers to withhold tips from staff, and to make neonatal leave/pay a satautory right.
1st April 2023 – National Minimum Wage rates to increase.
2nd April 2023 – Family-friendly rates to increase: maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement pay.
6th April 2023 – Other Statutory Rates to increase: sick pay, guarantee pay (rate TBC), redundancy weekly pay cap (rate TBC).
8th May 2023 – Extra Bank Holiday to mark the Coronation of King Charles III.
Proposed Changes (no dates confirmed yet)
Here are some of the employment law changes that have been proposed:
- Statutory Code of Practice on ‘fire and rehire’
- New statutory day-one right to carer’s leave
- Redundancy protection for new and expectant parents to be extended
- Statutory neonatal leave and pay
- Day-one rights to request flexible working
- A duty requiring employers to prevent sexual harassment including from third parties
- Minimum staffing levels during strikes
- New right to request a more stable and predictable contract for employees
- GDPR will be replaced
- New law to increase the break in continuous employment from one week to four
- New law prohibiting confidentiality clauses in contracts or settlement agreements which prevent disclosures to the police, regulated health and care or legal professionals to be introduced
- Regulatory exemptions from requirements such as reporting on the gender pay gap will be extended to businesses with fewer than 500 employees. (currently this applies to businesses with fewer than 250 employees)
Many of these changes will require updates to your HR documentation includes SMTs and employee handbooks. As a HR consultant I work with customers across Kent, London and Medway in towns including Chatham, Rochester, Dartford, Bexleyheath, Erith, Maidstone and Tonbridge. I work for Peninsula who can provide comprehensive HR support and advice, ensuring you are always compliant. Send me a message if you’d like a meeting to discuss how our service can support your business.