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The coming Employment Bill

In the Queen’s Speech in 2019, the Government promised an Employment Bill when Parliamentary time allowed to include among other changes:  

A new single body

A new single body to enforce breaches concerning national minimum wage, modern slavery, employment agencies and statutory sick pay and holiday pay for vulnerable workers. It will have new powers to tackle non-compliance, including civil penalties of up to £20,000 per worker for the breaches. 

Gratuities

All workers to receive their tips in fullThe Government announced in September 2021 that the new legislation, which will be supported by a code of practice on a fair and transparent distribution of gratuities, will require all employers to pass on tips without any deductions.  

Contracts for all workers

A new right for all workers, including those on zero-hour contracts and agency workers, to request a more predictable contract after 26 weeks’ continuous service providing more certainty about the number of hours or days they will be required to work. 

Redundancy protections

Extending redundancy protections for pregnant workers and those on maternity leave and other forms of family leave by extending the period of protection to apply from the point the employee informs the employer that the employee is pregnant to six months after the end of the family leave period. Shared parental and other forms of family leave may require a different approach. 

Neonatal leave

A new right to additional neonatal leave granting parents of babies who are born prematurely or who are admitted to hospital in their first four weeks up to 12 weeks paid time off. 

Carers leave

For unpaid carers, a new right to one week’s unpaid leaveThis will be a right for all workers that can be taken as a block or individual days. The leave is for caring purposes such as personal and practical support, financial matters, personal or medical care. 

The right to flexible working

The right to request flexible working arrangements at the start of employment. At present the requirement is to have 26 weeks’ service before a request can be made. 

Sexual harassment

The Government has announced it will introduce a duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. It will reintroduce protections for employees who are harassed by customers and clients.

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