Employment Law: What Can We Expect in 2022? | January 2022
The Employment Bill which was announced in the Queen’s Speech back in December 2019 is still awaiting implementation in many areas due to Covid 19 and the ‘effect this has had on the economy’.
However, the government has since indicated that the Bill will be forthcoming ‘when parliamentary time allows’ and whilst consultation on certain elements of the Bill have already been undertaken, it can be anticipated that the Employment Bill in some form will be published at some point in the coming year.
A number of commitments on elements of the Bill have already been given by the government, but overallbthe measures expected to be included in the Bill are wide-ranging and are expected to include the following:
Requests for Flexible Working - Amending the flexible working rules so that employees can ask to change their working hours or the days on which they work from the first day of their employment and requiring businesses to consider alternatives before turning down a request. It is also considering reducing the three-month time limit employers currently have to respond.
Carers Unpaid Leave - Introducing a right for employees with long-term caring responsibilities to take up to one week’s unpaid leave each year which can be taken in a block or as individual days or half days.
Paid Neonatal Leave - Parents of Premature Babies - Introducing a new right for eligible employees to receive ‘Neonatal Leave’ and ‘Neonatal Pay’ to support families when a baby is born prematurely or sick and receives care in a neonatal unit.
New Parents at Risk of Redundancy - Giving new parents at risk of being made redundant the right to be offered suitable alternative employment ahead of other members of staff for an additional six-month period after they return to work.
Zero Hours and Contracts of Employment - Giving all workers the right to request a more predictable contract. This proposal was aimed at protecting people in insecure work, particularly in respect of casual staff engaged on zero hours contracts who often don't know week to week what hours they will be offered.
Staff Tips - Introducing a right for staff in the hospitality sector to keep all tips and for employers in this sector to publish a written policy on tips. The government has already published its intention to enact this (September 2021).
Employment Enforcement Agency - Establishing a new single enforcement agency to ensure that workers understand their legal rights and help to enforce them.
Further Information – please check back here for more details as we will aim to keep you updated as and when the government publish information of these and other statutory changes.
NB: This information is for general guidance only and is not legal advice. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law. However, if you have any HR issues on this or any other HR matters and would like to talk them through with our team, please contact us.
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