Welcome to our May 2022 edition of Employment Up-To-Date.
Read on for a roundup of some of the latest news and developments in relation to employment.
In this edition
- In the news: No mention of the UK Employment Bill
- In the news: Pensions Regulator resuming auto-enrolment spot checks
- In the news: UK Immigration - Updated sponsor guidance
- Insight: Theft of confidential information: no excuses, no explanations
- Insight: Queen's speech confirms changes to UK data protection law
- UK Immigration Update: High Potential Individual route - key features
- UK Immigration Update: Updated home office guidance on carrying out right to work checks on Ukrainian nationals
- Insight: Missing in menopause: 1 in 10 women leave their jobs due to the menopause (and 8 in 10 employers haven't done anything about it yet)
- Insight: Who's on (your) board? FCA announces changes to Listing Rules to promote greater board diversity
In the news: No mention of the UK Employment Bill
The Queen's Speech contained no mention of the long awaited Employment Bill for the second year in a row. The Bill, first announced in 2019, is aimed at promoting fairness in the workplace including flexible work rights, the creation of a single enforcement body and stronger legal protection for pregnant employees and carers. In a subsequent response to a question on the introduction of the right to unpaid carer's leave, one of the commitments expected to be in the Employment Bill, the government reconfirmed it is committed to unpaid carer's leave and will introduce it when parliamentary time allows. The timeline for the Bill, however, remains unclear.
In the news: Pensions regulator resuming auto-enrolment spot checks
The Pensions Regulator is carrying out auto-enrolment compliance spot checks across the UK and visiting employers suspected of breaching their workplace pension duties. The short notice inspections were previously stopped during the pandemic, but this latest compliance drive marks a return to larger scale in-person inspections targeting different areas across the UK including Greater Manchester, Nottingham, Greater London and Belfast. Enforcement action for non-compliance includes compliance notices and fines, while a failure to comply with a statutory notice can lead to an escalating penalty notice ultimately resulting in a fine at a daily rate of £50 to £10,000 depending on the number of staff.
In the news: UK Immigration - Updated sponsor guidance
The Home Office has updated its guidance on keeping records for those sponsoring workers, temporary workers and students coming into the UK. Sponsors no longer need to retain a copy of each sponsored worker's current passport. Instead, employers should retain evidence that each sponsored worker has the right to work in the UK and undertake the work in question. The guidance also clarifies that employers should check and evidence the date of entry into the UK if they sponsored the worker's application for their current entry clearance.
Insight: Theft of confidential information: no excuses, no explanations
The case of Nissan Motor (GB) Limited, Nissan Motor Co Ltd v Ravinder Passi is a reminder of the importance of having well-drafted termination and confidentiality clauses and appropriate exit procedures to limit the potential danger of confidential information being misused by departing employees.
Insight: Queen's speech confirms changes to UK data protection law
It was confirmed last week in the Queen's Speech that reform of the UK's data protection regime remains very much a part of the Government's plans, and that we should expect a new Data Reform Bill (Bill) to surface during the Summer.
UK Immigration Update: High potential individual route - key features
The new High Potential Individual (HPI) UK immigration route is due to open at 9.00am on 30 May 2022. We take a look at the key features of this new category.
UK Immigration Update: Updated home office guidance on carrying out right to work checks on Ukrainian nationals
Since the early stages of the conflict in Ukraine the Home Office has introduced various visa schemes to help support Ukrainian nationals, and their family members, to come into the UK. This includes the Ukraine Family Scheme, Homes for Ukraine and the Ukraine Extension Scheme.
Insight: Missing in menopause: 1 in 10 women leave their jobs due to the menopause (and 8 in 10 employers haven't done anything about it yet)
In the meantime, Employment Tribunal records reveal that the number of cases per year alleging menopause-related discrimination reached an all-time high in 2021 (and looks set to be similar in 2022). In November 2021, the Minister for Employment called on employers to strengthen their support of the careers of women who suffer from serious menopause symptoms.
Insight: Who's on (your) board? FCA announces changes to listing rules to promote greater board diversity
In policy statement PS22/3, the FCA has confirmed changes to their Listing Rules (LR) and Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules (DTR) to require listed companies in the financial services sector to report and disclose against targets on the representation of women and ethnic minorities on their boards and executive management teams.