Following on our recent Looking Back, Going Forward seminar in our Woking office, this article looks at some of the upcoming legislation in the employment sector.
Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill
The most anticipated and contentious bill is arguably the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. This Bill seeks to remove and adapt retained EU law following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. This could impact workers rights that we have known for many years, including in relation to:
- Parental leave and pay
- Working time
- Holiday leave and pay
- Part-time workers’ rights
- Fixed-term workers’ rights
The Government backed Bill aims to remove the special legal status of all these retained EU laws by 31 December 2023.
Status of Workers Bill
Whilst the Government decided that it did not feel there was a need to codify the law on employment status following the 2018 Employment Status Consultation and The Taylor Review, there is currently a Private Members’ Bill in the pipeline seeking to do exactly that.
The intention of the Bill is to amend the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and the Employment Rights Act 1996 which provides the statutory test for determining employment status. The amendments would broaden the statutory definitions of “employee” and “worker” in these two pieces of legislation to try to ensure that correct employment status is captured, rather than labelling someone with an employment status which does not reflect the true relationship of the parties.
The Bill is currently in its second reading in the House of Commons and will need support from the Government to help it through the timetable.
Neonatal care (Private Members’ Bill)
The Neonatal Bill is another Private Members’ Bill which has been put forward to provide employees with a statutory entitlement to pay and leave to care for babies receiving neonatal care. Although still in its early stages, we know that the Bill seeks to provide an employee with at least one week’s leave to which the employee would be entitled from the first day of their employment. The employee would not however be entitled to statutory neonatal pay until they have been continuously employed for 6 weeks.
The charity, Protect, has been campaigning for the new Whistleblowing Bill which is now in its second reading in the House of Commons.
The Bill seeks to support whistle-blowers before, during and after they raise concerns and protection if things go wrong. The claims would be heard by a specific “whistleblowing tribunal”, which could cause some issues, as whistleblowing claims are often brought alongside ordinary unfair dismissal and discrimination claims, which would then need to be heard and determined separately.
How Moore Barlow can help
For more advice and information on upcoming legislation and fast-moving developments in employment law, please contact one of our employment lawyers or sign up to our upcoming Looking Back, Going Forward seminars.