Some key changes to employment legislation are coming into force this year and all business owners should be aware of them.
Here are some of the changes below:
Rates of pay
From April, changes will include increases to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage, Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Shared Parental Leave, Adoption Pay, Maternity Allowance, Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay, NI Contributions, Statutory Sick Pay, and changes to the statutory cap on a week’s pay for calculating the Basic Award for unfair dismissal and Statutory Redundancy Pay.
Employers need to make sure that staff on family related or sick leave are paid any new rates and update policies and/or staff handbooks.
Neonatal leave and pay
Parents of babies who require neonatal treatment will be entitled to additional leave – up to a maximum of 12 weeks – for each week their child spends in care.
It is likely that employees will need to have been employed for 26 weeks and earn more than the minimum pay threshold to be entitled to the leave.
This new law is expected to come into force this year.
Employers will now have a duty to proactively prevent sexual harassment. This could extend to harassment by third parties such as customers, contractors, and suppliers.
There may be an extension to the current limitation date for submitting an employment tribunal claim under the Equality Act 2010 from three to six months.
Staff handbooks will likely require updating and senior employees and HR will need updating and training on how to deal with this and any employee complaints or grievances.
Staff working in CQC regulated nursing and care homes who are providing nursing or personal care, are now subject to the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 that came into force on November 11, 2021. These make it a legal requirement for staff to be vaccinated as a condition of their deployment to work.
This legislation will be extended to include all frontline staff in CQC regulated healthcare provision. This includes all NHS and independent health care services. Staff must be vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines (unless a medical exemption applies) as a condition of deployment. It is expected that this will come into force from April 1, as such all staff will need to have had their first dose of vaccine by February 3, so they can be fully vaccinated by April 1.
There have already been rallies and disputes over this.