20 July 2023
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Employment: To The Point (July 2023)

To The Point

Highlights in this edition include: new developments for family-friendly policies on the horizon, the High Court's quashing of the regulations allowing employers to use agency workers to fill staffing gaps caused by strike action effective from 10 August 2023 and new EAT guidance for employers and employees on the approach to be taken in cases involving religion or belief in the workplace.  

We know that HR teams have been busy with so many changes in the workplace in recent times and as we approach the summer holidays, we take a look at the in tray for September and a number of new policy changes coming on the horizon. 

Editoral by Shakeel Dad

A move in the right direction

The Government's reforms to paternity leave are a step in the right direction, but for many, don’t go far enough. It remains the case in the UK women are mainly the primary carers for babies, and while the reasons for this are multiple, our paternity leave framework is a relevant factor. The latest reforms will give fathers greater flexibility and that is welcome, but they are unlikely to have a material impact on the imbalance which exists here. 

A survey undertaken by the Centre for Progressive Policy, Pregnant Then Screwed (PTS) and Women in Data found that almost a third of fathers took no paternity leave after the birth of their last child and 83% of mothers with children under 12 thought that increasing paid paternity leave would have a positive impact on maternal mental health.

As a father of 3 young children, I was fortunate enough to be in environments where I felt empowered to not only take paternity leave, but also to be open about my desire to be hands on with my children. However, that remains a challenge for many fathers and a further shift in our approach to paternity leave may be needed to address this. 

Family-friendly policies: Six new developments for employers to consider

There are a number of changes to family-related rights and protections on the horizon.  From paternity leave to neonatal care leave and pay, carer's leave and enhanced redundancy protection for expectant mothers and new parents and flexible working requests as well as new guidance to support fertility in the workplace, we take a look at what to expect. Read here to find out more.

Law allowing striking workers to be replaced by agency workers is unlawful

The High Court has declared that the 2022 Regulations allowing employers to hire agency workers to cover staffing gaps caused by strike action are unlawful and will be quashed with effect from 10 August 2023. Read more on this development here

Helpful guidance on handling religion/belief discrimination claims

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently set out new guidance for employers and employees on the approach to be taken in cases involving religion or belief in the workplace. Find more information here.

UK immigration update: Student visa reforms and latest developments

Recent immigration developments include the proposed Home Office changes to student visas and the move towards digital immigration status to replace Biometric Residence Permits for certain migrants. Latest statistics also show a significant increase in approved sponsor employers.  Our update takes a closer look at these latest developments. Find out more here.

International: The German Whistleblower Protection Act comes into force on 2nd July – key considerations for UK-based companies operating in Germany

The German Whistleblower Protection Act implements the requirements of the EU Whistleblower Directive and introduces mandatory regulations for the protection of whistleblowers for companies with at least 50 employees. Find out what it means for UK-based companies in Germany here. If you would like to discuss how this legislation could impact your business contact our team in Germany here.

What else you should know

Upcoming Events:

Look out for our save the dates coming soon for our Autumn HR Breakfast Seminar for HR professionals. The popular sessions cover the latest developments and future changes on the horizon in employment law.

For more information on that and all our upcoming training events please visit our Employment and Immigration Group Training Calendar page on our website here.

To the Point 

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