30 January 2024
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Employment: To The Point (January 2024)

To The Point
(5 min read)

Highlights in this AI edition include: a look at AI in the workplace and what employers should consider, key employment law developments for 2024 and a recent case looking at settlement agreements and future claims.  We also highlight changes on the horizon in UK immigration law and include our usual round-up of news, our horizon scanner and information on forthcoming events.

The AI Revolution in the Workplace

In the world of HR, we stand at the forefront of the AI revolution in the workplace. This technology promises to streamline processes, enhance productivity, and drive innovation. For employers, all this sounds great, right? However, it also brings challenges that we must navigate with care.

As we see greater automation of tasks through the use of AI, we may also start to see job displacement or a need for employees to acquire new skills. AI can analyse data swiftly, but it also raises concerns about privacy and security. Importantly, AI can perpetuate biases present in the data it's trained on, leading to potentially discriminatory outcomes. The human touch is still therefore needed.

HR leaders will need to develop clear policies for AI use, ensuring fairness, transparency, and accountability. We must maintain human oversight in decision-making processes and invest in training programs to educate employees about AI, its capabilities, and limitations. It will always be important to balance the benefits of AI against the potential risks.

For all businesses there is a pressure to use this technology to best advantage… or get left behind. Personally, I'm opting to embrace this and I know I'm not alone!

P.S. Thanks for AGPT (our internal AI tech tool) for co-editing this with me.

Editorial by Rebecca Kitson


Rise of the Machines: Benefits, Risks, and Considerations of AI for Businesses

We consider the impact of AI on the workplace, the latest developments in legal protections and what employers should be thinking about.   Find out what it means for employers here.

What to expect in employment law for 2024

An overview of key developments in employment law on the horizon in 2024.  Find out about latest developments here

Unknown future claims CAN be settled by way of a qualifying settlement agreement

The Court of Session has held that a settlement agreement can be used to settle future claims which are unknown to the employee at the time of entering into the agreement, provided that the potential claim is identified within the agreement.  Find out more here.

UK immigration update

The Government has recently published its Five Point Plan to cut net migration.  We take a look at what it means for UK business immigration, what other changes are expected for 2024 and what sponsor licence holders may want to consider for the year ahead.  Find out more here

International: Artificial Intelligence – landmark deal on AI regulation in Europe agreed by members of the European Parliament

The European Council recently reached a historic agreement on proposed legislation for AI regulation in the European Union.  Find out what it means here.


What else you should know

  • For a light-hearted review of employment highlights in 2023 see The Twelve Months of Employment Law 2023 here.
  • From April 2024, the weekly rates for statutory parental, bereavement and sick pay will increase as follows:
    • 6 April 2024: The weekly rate of statutory sick pay will be £116.75 (up from £109.40);
    • 7 April 2024: The weekly rate of statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay, statutory shared parental pay, statutory adoption pay and statutory parental bereavement pay will be £184.03 (up from £172.48);
    • 8 April 2024: The weekly rate of maternity allowance will be £184.03 (up from £172.48).
  • The Government has launched a consultation on a proposal to introduce modest fees in the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal.  The previous fee regime introduced in 2013 led to a substantial fall in the number of claims in the Employment Tribunals, but in 2017 the Supreme Court held it was unlawful and the fees were quashed.  The current proposal is intended to relieve some of the cost to taxpayers by requiring tribunal users to pay for the tribunal system, where they can afford to do so.  It is also intended that it may incentivise parties to settle disputes early through ACAS without the need to bring claims to an Employment Tribunal.  The proposed fee is £55 to bring a claim in the ET (whether for a single claimant or a multi-party action) or an appeal in the EAT with a revised remission scheme available for those who cannot afford it.  The consultation closes on 25 March 2024.
  • For our latest Horizon Scanner covering all the latest legislative developments and forthcoming cases in employment law, visit our website page here

Upcoming Events:

CHANGE OF DATE: Our Industrial Relations Training: What Happens When an Industrial Dispute Escalates? is moving from Tuesday, 30 January to Wednesday, 13 March 2024 due to planned train strikes.  We are delighted that our Industrial Relations team will be joined by Andrew Burns KC and Marianne Tutin of Devereux Chambers.  We'll lead you through an interactive case study examining the processes and pitfalls of an industrial dispute as well as sessions looking at key considerations and recent and future developments.  You can find more information and register for this event here.

We run regular Employment Law Returner Training Programmes for in-house employment lawyers, senior HR managers as well as our own lawyers here at AG.  The training sessions are designed for people who have been away from the workplace for an extended time maybe on family leave, sickness absence or sabbatical, and cover key developments in legislation, case law and other changes in employment law during the previous year.  Our next training session will be in May 2024.  If you or anyone in your team would be interested in attending or for further information, please contact Renee Lofthouse.

For our Employment and Immigration Training Calendar 2024 listing all our client training events, please visit our website page here.

To the Point 

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