What's on the horizon for Employment Law in 2022:
- Carer’s leave – A new right to one week of unpaid leave per year is due to be introduced. This will be available to unpaid carers who look after a dependant (including a partner, child or parent) with a disability, long-term illness or suffering from issues relating to old age. The right will be available to employees from day one of their employment, and employees can self-certify their entitlement to the leave. Employee’s exercising their right to carer’s leave will be protected from detriment, any dismissal for exercising the right will be automatically unfair. When this becomes law, employers may wish to review any existing policies which allow time off for dependants or offer unpaid leave and consider how these might interact or overlap with the new right.
- Neonatal leave – Parents of premature or sick babies up to 28 days old, requiring neonatal care, will be entitled to benefit from a new right to neonatal leave and pay. The right applies for a period of up to 12 weeks, depending on the duration of the hospital stay, which must be a minimum period of 7 consecutive days. Entitlement to leave will be a day one right. Pay will only be available to parents who satisfy the eligibility requirements of other types of family leave. Employee’s exercising their right to neonatal leave will be entitled to protection from detriment or discrimination arising from taking or seeking to take the leave. The interaction of the right to neonatal leave and pay with statutory maternity, paternity and shared parental leave and pay has yet to be confirmed.
- Enhanced redundancy protection for pregnant women and new mothers – You will be aware that under current rules when an employer is making an employee on maternity leave redundant it must offer her a suitable alternative vacancy, where one is available and failure to do so gives rise to automatic unfair dismissal. The government has committed to extending the period for which that right is available so that it applies from the point at which an employee notifies her employer of her pregnancy until six months after the end of the period of maternity leave.
- Flexible working – The government is considering making the right to request flexible working a day one right for employees.
- Sexual harassment – A new duty for employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace is expected to come into force this year.
- Data protection – The ICO is due to issue updated employment practice guidance on data this year.
- Ethnicity and disability pay gap reporting – 2022 is likely to see the first real step towards making it standard for these types of reports in the workplace.
- Right to work checks – The scheme became digital as a result of the pandemic and on account of overwhelmingly positive feedback the government is set to make the change permanent later this year.
- Modern Slavery – Reforms to the Modern Slavery Act are expected later this year. When this happens, you may need to review your anti-slavery statements.
Affected by any changes?
Contact Hatch Brenner Solicitors Employment Law Specialist, Dionne Dury to discuss all your employment matters on 01603 214 229 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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