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    Key dates for Employment law



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    Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) introduced to Parliament

    This will set minimum service levels in certain sectors (including health, transport and education). Employers in those sectors will be able to identify workers required to work during a strike.

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    ICO consultation on draft guidance for monitoring at work ends

    Further Reading
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    The government rejects key recommendation of the Women and Equalities Report and will not seek to make menopause a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

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    Dismissal and re-engagement

    The government published a consultation on a draft Code of Practice on Dismissal and Re-engagement where it is used to try and change terms and conditions of employment. It sets out the steps employers should take to explore alternatives to dismissal and to engage in meaningful consultation.

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    ICO consultation on draft guidance on information about workers’ health ends

    Further Reading


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    Predictable terms and conditions Bill

    The government has announced that it is backing a Private Members Bill to give workers and agency workers the right to request more predictable terms and conditions of work.


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    Whistleblowing review

    The government is reviewing the effectiveness of the whistleblowing framework in meeting its original objectives which include providing a route for workers to make whistleblowing disclosures and protecting those who do from detriment and dismissal. The review is expected to be concluded by Autumn 2023.


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    National Minimum Wage

    The National Living Wage for those 23 and over will increase from £9.50 to £10.42; the NMW for those aged 21-22 will increase from £9.18 to £10.18; NMW for those aged 18 – 20 will increase from £6.83 to £7.49 and for those aged 16 – 17 from £4.81 to £5.28.

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    Increase in tribunal awards

    The annual increase in awards for dismissals taking place on or after 6 April 2023 has been announced.  The limit on a week’s pay increases from £571 to £643; the maximum compensatory award increases from £93,878 to £105,707 and the maximum basic award increases from £16,320 to £17,130.

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    SMP and SSP

    Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Statutory Shared Parental Pay and Statutory Parental Bereavement pay will increase from £156.66 to £172.48 per week and Statutory Sick Pay will increase from £99.35 to £109.40 per week.

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    Vento Guidelines annual increase

    The ranges of compensation for injury to feelings awards are increasing as follows: lower band (less serious cases) from £1,100 to £11,200; middle band (cases that do not merit an award in the upper band) from £11,200 to £33,700 and upper band from £33,700 to £56,200 (the most serious cases) with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £56,200.


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    Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 receives Royal Assent

    This Act amends the Employment Rights Act 1996 to impose new obligations on employers to ensure that 100% of tips are paid to workers in full, without deductions and that the allocation of tips is what the legislation describes as “fair”.

    Essential Reading: Our Insight
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    Extra bank holiday to celebrate coronation of Charles III

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    Employment Reform – will it effect real change?

    Employment legislation has not been far up the government agenda recently, but this week a few interesting proposals have been made to non-compete clauses, holiday pay and business transfers – see below.  More detail will be needed to assess the real impact, and over recent years anticipated legislation has failed to materialise, so it may be that these proposals will not come to pass anytime soon, if at all.

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    Non-compete clauses to be limited to three months

    The government intends to legislate to limit the length of non-compete clauses to 3 months with the intention that this will provide employees with more flexibility to join a competitor after they have left a position.  Whilst there are no details yet on what the legislation will look like the government has confirmed that  limiting the non-compete clauses will not interfere with the ability of employers to use paid notice periods, or garden leave or non-solicitation clauses. There may well therefore be little difference in result, just a change in how employers get there, with employers using garden leave and potentially longer notice periods to achieve their aims.  There is no timetable for the implementation of these provisions other than the vague assurance of “when parliamentary time allows”.

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    Holiday Pay

    Proposed changes to the Working Time Regulations will be welcomed by employers who have grappled since their introduction with how calculations should be made for holiday pay, and managing holiday pay in an agile workforce. The proposals promise to reduce “the administrative burden and complexity of calculating holiday pay” in part by making rolled up holiday pay lawful, and merging the two separate leave entitlements into one pot of statutory annual leave. Rolling up holiday pay (what many do in practice in any event with casual workers) will simplify the administration of holiday pay for many and will be welcomed by employers.

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    Business transfers

    In an effort to simplify the regulations that apply when a business transfers the proposal is to enable employers to consult directly with employees (and not have to elect employee reps) for businesses with fewer than 50 employees and transfers affecting less than 10 employees.  Any reduction of red tape will be welcomed by businesses, but this is not a significant step.

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    Retained EU Employment Law Consultation

    The Government published its consultation on the proposed changes to WTR and TUPE which closes on 7 July 2023.

    Essential Reading: Our Insight
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    Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act received Royal Assent.

    This Act gives eligible employed parents new neonatal leave and pay entitlements of up to 12 weeks in addition to other leave entitlements. This is expected to be delivered in April 2025. 

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    Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 received Royal Assent.

    This Act gives protection from redundancy during or after pregnancy or after periods of maternity, adoption or shared parental leave. The government have not yet confirmed when these provisions will take effect.

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    Subject Access Requests

    The ICO has published Guidance for employers on Subject Access Requests in the form of Q& A, examples and links to further reading.

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    Carers Leave Act received Royal Assent

    This Act creates a new statutory unpaid leave entitlement for employees with caring responsibilities. A date for implementation has not yet been announced but it will not be before April 2024.


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    The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill received Royal Assent.


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    Acas published a consultation on an updated statutory Code of Practice on handling flexible working requests.

    The consultation anticipates changes implemented by the Flexible Working Bill.  It closes on 6 September 2023.

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    Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill has received Royal Assent.

    The government expects that the measures will come into force approximately a year after Royal Assent. The Act makes provision for employees to make two requests (rather than one) in any 12-month period; an employer will not be able to refuse a request without consulting the employee and the time for making a decision will be reduced from three to two months.

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    The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill received Royal Assent.

    Minimum service levels will not come into force in a particular sector until secondary legislation has been passed. The government has confirmed that it intends to introduce a statutory Code of Practice on the obligations of trade unions under the Act.


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    Agency workers no longer allowed to cover striking workers.

    The High Court’s Quashing Order following a judicial review challenge provides that regulation 7 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 is back in force and from this date (but not before) employment businesses will no longer be able to supply temporary workers to employers to cover those involved in industrial action.

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