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Various employment updates to look out for in 2023

Various employment related updates to look out for in 2023 include:

Holiday Pay

Following Harper Trust v Bazel the Supreme Court heard Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland v Agnew in December 2022. This is another case which will consider how holiday pay is calculated, in particular, the court will consider whether gaps in underpayment will have any effect on whether back claims can be made for underpaid holiday pay as well as whether there has been discrimination against the respondents under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Employers should keep a close eye and make sure that they are considering carefully how holiday pay is being calculated.

Family leave and pay

The Employment Bill is no longer but new bills to look out for in 2023 in relation to family leave and pay include Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill, The Carer’s Leave Bill and the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill, all of which propose the introduction of various rights to unpaid leave.

Employers should keep an eye on these updates as if any of the Bills do become law, employees will gain protection from dismissal or detriment due to taking the leave. If they do become law, dismissal of an employee because of the leave will be an automatic unfair dismissal.

Protection from harassment

Another Bill to keep an eye on is The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill

This bill arose following a 2019 consultation on sexual harassment in the workplace in which the conclusion was that “the government intends to introduce a duty requiring employers to prevent sexual harassment, as we believe that this will encourage employers into taking positive proactive steps to make the workplace safer for everyone”.

Employers should note that this bill indeed does include a new “proactive duty on employers to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment of their employees and makes employers liable for harassment of their employees by third parties” and should ensure that policies are reviewed and updated.

Retained EU Law

As we wrote last year, the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill was introduced in 2022 to remove all remaining EU law from the statute books by the end of 2023 and could be wide-reaching in terms of employment law, with rights and regulations such as equal pay, discrimination, the 48 hour working week all potentially allowed to expire. As yet there are no updates on how the government plans to do this or whether it will intend to extend the deadline beyond 31 December 2023.

Posted on 01/12/2023 by Ortolan

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