What’s on the employment law horizon?

What’s on the employment law horizon?'s Tags

Tags related to this article

What’s on the employment law horizon?

Published 4 February 2022

We have summarised expected changes in legislation to look out for in 2022 and the position on various outstanding consultations, below.

These possible changes are in addition the usual uplifts to the National Living Wage, SSP, statutory payments for family leave and unfair dismissal compensation which will increase in April 2022.

Expected changes in legislation

  • Employment Bill: At the end of 2019, the Government announced that it would introduce a new Employment Bill to protect vulnerable workers, including a single enforcement body for employment rights and the right to request a more predictable contract for those with variable hours after 26 weeks’ service. It may well also pick up some of the other developments outlined below, and those being consulted on. This will be introduced when Parliamentary time allows.
  • Extending redundancy protection for women: The redundancy protection currently offered to mothers on maternity leave will be extended to protection while they are pregnant and for six months after the end of maternity/adoption leave, and possibly SPL. This will be introduced when Parliamentary time allows.
  • Introducing neonatal leave and pay of up to 12 weeks: This would be a new right in addition to other forms of parental leave for those with babies who need neonatal care.
  • “Day 1 right” to carers’ leave: This right will consist of 1 week of unpaid leave per year to help support carers to balance their employment and caring responsibilities. This will be introduced when Parliamentary time allows.
  • Sexual harassment in the workplace: In its response to consultation, the Government has confirmed that it will introduce a duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment, it will re-introduce protection from third-party harassment and it will consider extending the time limit for claims under the Equality Act 2010 from three to six months. Legislative changes will be introduced when Parliamentary time allows.
  • Tipping: The Government has proposed new legislation requiring employers to pass on all tips, gratuities, and service charges to workers without any deductions and to distribute tips in a fair and transparent manner. The proposal also includes a new right for workers to make a request for information relating to an employer’s tipping record to enable them to bring forward a credible claim to an employment tribunal.

 Consultations

  • Regulation of confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements and employment contracts: In July 2019, the Government published its response to the consultation on measures to prevent the misuse of confidentiality clauses, or “NDAs”, in situations of workplace harassment or discrimination. There is no timetable for the implementation of any legislation.
  • Making flexible working the default position: The Government has consulted about making it easier for people to work flexibly, a requirement on employers to consider the right to request flexible working from day 1, and whether to require an employer to suggest alternatives to flexible working requests. This consultation closed in December.
  • Publishing parental leave and pay policies: In July 2019, the Government consulted on proposals to require large employers to publish their parental leave and pay policies. They will publish the formal response to that consultation in due course.
  • Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting Consultation: In 2018/2019 the Government consulted on options for employer-level ethnicity pay gap reporting. The Government is continuing to analyse this data and how to overcome genuine difficulties with the methodology and will respond to the consultation in due course (this was expected in Autumn 2021).
  • Non-compete clauses: The consultation on whether financial compensation for the duration of post-termination restriction covenants should be mandatory and whether non-compete restrictive covenants should be banned has closed. Nothing further has been heard about when a response may be provided.
  • ICO consultation on updating the Employment Practices Code: this consultation closed in October 2021 and the ICO are currently considering it.

Authors

Hilary Larter

Hilary Larter

Leeds

+44 (0)113 251 4710

Zoë Wigan

Zoë Wigan

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6564

Ceri Fuller

Ceri Fuller

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6583

< Back to articles