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What to Expect in HR and Employment Law in 2023


2022 was a bumper year for HR and employment law headlines. Russia's invasion of Ukraine led to many employers taking on Ukrainian nationals, for example. P&O Ferries made headlines after dismissing 800 employees in March; Virgin Atlantic dropped gendered uniform requirements and visible tattoos were allowed; companies continued to adapt policies, contracts and handbooks to accommodate hybrid working; the UK was (and continues to be) suffering a cost-of-living crisis impacting both businesses and staff; the Commonwealth tragically lost Queen Elizabeth II with an additional bank holiday for the state funeral; there was also an additional bank holiday for the Platinum Jubilee and there was a World Cup over the Christmas period which would likely have given employers headaches with unauthorised absences.


This article looks ahead at what employers can expect in HR and employment law in 2023.

Tips Law

In certain sectors, particularly hospitality and leisure, employees rely heavily on tips and gratuities. Due to the cost of living crisis, these payments have become even more necessary.


The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill had its third reading in the House of Commons in January 2023. If passed, this bill will provide enhanced protection to staff members, by entitling them to keep 100% of the tips they earn. For employers, this means it will be unlawful to withhold tips from staff. This includes any service changes added to card payments. While it won’t come into force just yet, it looks promising that the bill will gain Royal Ascent and be formally passed in 2023. If you manage staff or run a business in an industry that deals in tips and gratuities, this is a bill to keep your eye on.



Statutory Pay Increases – Statutory Sick Pay, NMW

Whether the staff on your payroll are full or part-time employees, SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) is payable if an employee is sick for at least four days in a row. Every April, new SSP rates come into effect. 2023 is no different, and there will be an increase in Statutory Sick Pay along with Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption, Shared Parental, and Parental Bereavement Pay.


Here’s a breakdown of the new rates:


Statutory Sick Pay

  • SSP will increase from £99.35 per week to £109.40

Statutory Maternity/Paternity/Adoption/Shared Parental/Parental Bereavement Pay

  • These will all increase from £156.66 per week to £172.48

Lower Earnings Limit

  • This will stay the same at £123 per week.

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

Although this is one of the measures that had been expected, the national minimum wage rates are increasing based on age group. These updates include:

  • 23 + (National Living Wage) increasing from £9.50 to £10.42

  • 21-22 increasing from £9.18 to £10.18

  • 18-20 increasing from £6.83 to £7.49

  • 16-17 increasing from £4.81 to £5.28

  • Apprentice rate increasing from £4.81 to £5.28

For specific advice on how new rates may impact your workplace, contact one of our experienced employment law experts today on 0800 141 3917.

Extra Bank Holiday

In 2022, employers had to adapt to two extra bank holidays. In 2023, we’ll have one extra bank holiday for the King’s Coronation. The date of the bank holiday is Monday 8th May. While this bank holiday could be treated differently to others, it is more likely to be treated the same. This means consulting your contract wording to find out whether you need to provide this day off. Remember, as an employer, you have the option to include all UK bank holidays as part of your statutory holiday entitlement. But this is not a requirement. If you do contractually provide all bank holidays as part of entitlement, then you should also allow time off for the King’s Coronation.


Flexible Working Bill

The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill, is currently making its way through parliament. If it becomes law, it would change the statutory right to request flexible working. The Flexible Working Bill would mean that employees would no longer need to explain to their employers what impact it would have on business operations and how this could be managed. It will also allow staff to make two flexible working requests a year. A consultation would take place between employee and employer to discuss the request before a decision is reached. This allows room for a compromise (e.g. part accept a request), and reduce the deadline for providing a decision on a request.


Meanwhile, the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill has passed to the committee stage. If passed, this bill will repeal any retained EU law on 31st December 2023, unless new legislation is introduced to keep it. This could impact TUPE, the right to paid annual leave, and working time regulations, and more.

Carer’s Leave

The Carer’s Leave Bill has already been introduced to parliament and is expected to complete all stages in 2023. The bill will make carer's leave a day one right and will allow employees to take unpaid time off work to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need. If you are aware of any employees with care responsibilities, it is worth keeping your eye on this bill, as you’ll need to be prepared to accommodate it.


Enhanced Redundancy Protection

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill may also be coming into force at an unspecified date in 2023. This will change the law so that pregnant women and new parents receive greater protections from redundancy. Currently, employers are obliged to offer a suitable alternative vacancy to an employee who is on maternity leave before redundancy can be considered. If passed, the Bill would extend the level of legislative protection given to new partners and pregnant women against workplace discrimination.


Minimising Disruption from Transport Strikes

The Transport Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill will ensure a certain level of service even when strikes are occurring. The purpose of this is to allow passengers to continue to go to work, attend school, and attend medical appointments. It means employers must specify the workforce required to provide an adequate level of service during strikes. If unions fail to provide this service level, they will lose legal protections from damages.

Protection from Harassment

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill means there is liability for employers for third party harassment. The bill was introduced following a report that found alarming levels of violent, aggressive, sexual and unwanted behaviour towards workers in the night-time economy. The bill is likely to be subject to change as it passes through parliament. However, the recommendations will focus on:

  • Closer cooperation with specialist services to reduce workplace harassment.

  • Publication of a personal safety policies by employers.

  • Employers taking further steps to prevent workplace sexual harassment, including from third parties.

Get expert advice on HR and Employment Law in 2023 with Croner

Our HR and employment law services frees you from admin, reduce your legal risk and give you more time to grow your business. We’re like hiring an HR team and an employment law solicitor all in one. Except we’re a fraction of the cost. If you need support in 2023 and beyond, speak to us.

 

Expert support

If you need support with employee productivity or conduct, speak to a Croner expert today on 0844 5618133 and quote code CHC22 along with quote number 911059.


Every FTC business member can also claim a free Croner goodie bag containing a mouse mat, pen, coaster and mug.



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