Understanding the UK Employment Law in 2023 and Beyond
Understanding the UK Employment Law in 2023 and Beyond
Navigating the maze of United Kingdom employment law is akin to keeping pace with London’s underground train system - companies must stay up to date with the latest legislative twists and turns to maintain compliance and ensure workers are treated as fairly as the Queen’s Guard.
The UK employment law landscape is dynamic, and 2023 has seen several significant changes, with more anticipated for 2024.
Key Changes in UK Employment Law that occurred in 2023
Rate ChangesA set of rate changes came into effect in April 2023, impacting areas such as the National Minimum Wage, National Living Wage, Statutory Maternity Pay, and Statutory Sick Pay. These adjustments are crucial for companies to adhere to the evolving compensation frameworks.
If a company employs part-time workers, their wages must have been adjusted according to the new National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates starting April 1, 2023. For instance, if the Real Living Wage increases, the company must ensure that workers' pay is adjusted accordingly.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
Organizations with a headcount of 250 or more workers need to comply with the reporting deadlines for their gender pay gap data. The reporting dates differ based on the type of organization.. Headcount requirements are met when direct worker headcount is at or above the 250 minimum prior to the reporting deadline.
Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill
This bill aims to end the legal status of retained EU law by 31st December 2023, with a possibility of extending the process to 23rd June 2026. This bill will have significant implications on employment laws derived from EU regulations.
A company that currently follows employment practices based on EU-derived laws must prepare for potential changes. For instance, if there are adjustments to working time regulations, the company will need to align its policies accordingly by the end of 2023.
The Employment Rights (Amendment, Revocation and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2023
Set to come into force from 1st January 2024, this legislation will amend laws related to holiday pay, TUPE, and working time. Notable changes include the introduction of rolled-up holiday pay, altered TUPE consultation requirements, and relaxation of record-keeping for daily working hours.
Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023
The "Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023" is designed to strengthen the job security of pregnant workers and parents returning to work after family-related leave, such as maternity or paternity leave. This legislation extends the current priority given in redundancy situations, ensuring that these workers are offered any suitable alternative employment before others who are not on family-related leave.
This means, for instance, if a company is undergoing restructuring and certain roles are being made redundant, these workers will have a higher priority for reassignment to other suitable roles within the organization. This change broadens the scope of workers who are protected in such scenarios, recognizing the importance of job security during and following significant family-related events.
Anticipated Legislation in 2024
Several notable bills are likely to become law in 2024, including:
Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill:Offering neonatal care leave and pay. A parent whose newborn is required to stay in neonatal care for an extended period will be entitled to this additional leave of up to 12 weeks, taken in one block following the worker’s parental leave. This will help them to spend critical time with their child without the worry of losing their job or income.
Carer’s Leave Bill:Will provide a statutory right to 1 week's unpaid carer’s leave, beginning on the first day of employment. There is no restriction on how the leave can be used, but a carer may utilize the time to care for a qualifying dependent. For example, a worker who is caring for an elderly parent can take one week of unpaid leave each year to focus on caregiving responsibilities. This leave is flexible and can be taken without the need to provide evidence of its use.
Changes to Flexible Working Laws:Workers will have the right to request flexible working from the first date of employment. Businesses must meet with workers making this request and discuss alternatives, if necessary. They then must make a decision on flexible working requests within two months of the request being made. Workers will have the ability to request a flexible working arrangement two times in each 12-month period.
Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023
Workers with working patterns that lack certainty of hours or times, and those on fixed-term contract of 12 months or less, will have the right to request more predictable terms and conditions of work. Requests can be rejected on specified statutory grounds but the process including appeals must be completed within one month. Two applications can be made per employee/worker per year.
Let TCWGlobal Guide You Through All The Complexities
Mastering the complexities of UK employment law is as essential as having a good umbrella in London weather. For those seeking trusted guidance in navigating these intricate legalities, especially when doing business in the UK, TCWGlobal offers all the expertise you need. Our team of seasoned legal advisors ensures that your organization's policies are not only up-to-date with the latest legal requirements but also strategically aligned to avoid any potential non-compliance pitfalls.
Failing to adhere to UK employment laws can lead to substantial financial penalties, reputational harm, and legal entanglements, so having TCWGlobal by your side is like having an experienced guide for your journey through the bustling streets of UK business law. Explore more about how we can assist at TCWGlobal.