Updates to employment law

Updated guidance from Home Office on right to work checks from 6 April 2022

The Home Office has released new guidance in January 2022 on right to work checks that must be carried out by all employers. Note that the end date for the temporary adjusted checks is the deferred 5 April 2022.

The most significant update is the “Update on the use of BRP/Cs to prove right to work” and the new guidance for employers and Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) regarding the use of digital identity verification.

Employers should ensure that they continue to conduct right to work checks on all employees, and retain evidence of all checks and documents provided.

From 6 April 2022, checks can only be done online for those who hold a BRC (biometric residence card), BRP (biometric residence permit) or FWP (frontier worker permit). The online check must be done using the Home Office’s online right to work check service with a manual check no longer being an option.

The individual whose details are being checked must generate an access code, valid for 30 days, and give this to the employer, who uses this share code and the prospective employee’s date of birth to carry out the online check.

Provision of PPE

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (PPER 2022) come into force on 6 April 2022 and amend the 1992 Regulations (PPER 1992).

The employer’s duty to provide PPE is unchanged. Where PPE is required, the scope has widened, and it now includes not only employees but limb (b) workers.

Employers must therefore consider whether they have any limb (b) workers, and then a risk assessment as to whether a worker requires PPE. If that is the case, then must then carry out a PPE suitability assessment and provide the PPE free of charge as they do for employees.

As usual, we recommend periodically assessing whether all individuals carrying out work for the business are employees, or workers, and, if they are limb (b) workers to ensure the appropriate PPE assessments, PPE itself and any training is ordered and prepared in advance of the 6 April.

UK businesses that import or manufacture plastic packaging

If your business manufactures or imports plastic packaging - e.g. retail or consumer supply chain - (it is thought that up to 20,000 UK businesses may be affected), then prepare to pay a new green tax on any packaging that contains a ‘chargeable packaging component’. The green tax will be charged at £200 per metric tonne, and will be payable by the producer / business who performs the ‘last substantial modification’, the importer or other parties who may become secondary liable if the tax is not paid.

Chargeable packaging components are those that are produced in the UK or imported into the UK that contain more plastic than any other individual additional substance, and will not undergo any further modifications. The new legislation is designed to promote the use of recycled plastics, so where plastic used is more than 30% recycled, it isn’t caught.

There are exemptions, as you’d expect for certain categories including a de minimis threshold and exempt packaging, e.g. for licenced human medicinal products, those permanently recorded as set aside for non-packaging use, and some categories of essential import packaging. Other exempt categories include where the packaging is part of the long term storage of an item and not typically discarded, e.g. glasses cases or DVD covers etc.

It is key that any business potentially affected understands the legislation, albeit that it is still being finalised, and registers with HMRC to pay PPT if it applies. Businesses can use the government provided checker and guidance.

Red Diesel

This particularly affects businesses within the construction industry with a ban on ‘red’ diesel coming into force on 1 April 2022. Stocks should be run down in advance of the deadline and prepare to either to move to ‘white’ diesel or consider bio fuels.

From 1 April 2022 red diesel can only be used for the following purposes:
for vehicles and machinery used in agriculture, horticulture, fish farming and forestry. This includes allowing vehicles used for agriculture to be used for cutting verges and hedges, snow clearance and gritting roads:

to propel passenger, freight or maintenance vehicles designed to run on rail tracks;

for heating and electricity generation in non-commercial premises - this includes the heating of homes and buildings such as places of worship, hospitals and townhalls; off-grid power generation; and non-propulsion uses on permanently-moored houseboats;

for maintaining community amateur sports clubs as well as golf courses;

as fuel for all marine craft refuelling and operating in the UK, except for propelling private pleasure craft in Northern Ireland; or

for powering the machinery of travelling fairs and circuses.

Posted on 02/01/2022 by Ortolan

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