There has been a number of important employment law reforms promised over recent years, which would have had a significant impact on the Hospitality and Leisure industry. Many of these were expected to be implemented following the 2019 Queen’s speech but were then delayed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Interestingly, despite being anticipated for the last three years, the 2022 Queen’s speech did not include any of these proposed changes.  

Outline of the reforms

Here’s an outline of the reforms that were expected to be introduced but which will not now take place this year.

  • Tips paid to workers in full – Whilst cash tips must be passed to hospitality staff, the proposed requirement for employers to pass on all tips left by customers (including tips left by card) has not been implemented. The plan was that it would have been illegal for employers to withhold any tips, but this is still not the case, although there is a Code of Best Practice on dealing with tips, particularly in relation to National Minimum Wage obligations.
  • Making flexible working the default - The pandemic has facilitated flexible working, and a recent government consultation considered making this the default position.
  • Increased contract predictability for workers - A new right for workers working variable hours to request a more stable contract following 26 months of service.
  • Leave for unpaid carers – A new right for employees who are carers to have up to five days’ carers’ leave each year to help them with their caring responsibilities.
  • Widened redundancy protection for pregnant employees and those on maternity leave – Those returning from maternity leave and pregnant employees would have had priority for alternative employment opportunities for up to six months.
  • Neonatal pay and leave - A new right of twelve weeks’ paid neonatal leave for employees whose babies spent time in neonatal care units.
  • Single enforcement body - The creation of a single labour market body to enforce statutory sick pay and holiday pay for vulnerable workers.

The status quo will remain until these proposed changes are put back on the government’s legislative agenda, although there is no indication as to when this may be.

Here to help

If you require any further information or assistance regarding the mentioned changes to employment law, you can contact our Employment Solicitors below.

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