Many employers and HR representatives will be aware of a number of proposed key employment reforms, which were expected to be implemented following the 2019 Queen’s speech. However, despite being anticipated for the last two years, the 2022 Queen’s speech did not include details of the Employment Bill.

Outline of the Employment Bill

Here’s an outline of the things that were expected to change following the Employment Bill, but, given the absence in the Queen’s speech, these changes will not take place this year.

  • 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.
  • Tips paid to workers in full – a requirement for employers to pass on all tips left by customers for hospitality staff to the workers. Accordingly, it would have been illegal for employers to withhold tips from these workers.
  • Making flexible working the default - The pandemic has facilitated flexible working, and a recent government consultation considered making this the default position.
  • Increased contact predictability for workers - a new right for workers working variable hours to request a more stable contract following 26 months of service.
  • Single enforcement body - the creation of a single labour market body to enforce statutory sick pay and holiday pay for vulnerable workers.
  • Leave for unpaid carers – a new right to provide employees who are carers to have up to 5 days carers’ leave each year for their caring responsibilities.

Accordingly, the status quo will remain until the Employment Bill is put back on the government’s legislative agenda, although there is no indication as to when this may be.

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