3 February 2022

Change afoot? 

It’s anticipated that the Employment Bill, on hold since December 2019, will be published in 2022. Measures could include: 

Carer’s leave

The government has confirmed plans to make carer’s leave a ‘day one’ right.

  • The leave will consist of up to five unpaid working days per year for employees with long-term caring responsibilities, to be taken in full or half days.
  • It can be taken to provide or arrange care for a person with a long-term care need, such as illness, injury or issues relating to old age.
  • Employees will have to give notice of at least twice the length of time being requested as leave, plus one day.

Tips and gratuities

The government has confirmed its intention to ensure workers retain tips on a fair and transparent basis.

  • Employers will have to have a written tips policy and keep a record of how tips are dealt with.
  • There will be a statutory tipping code of practice for employers.

Neonatal leave and pay

The government has also confirmed its intention to introduce statutory leave and pay for parents of babies requiring neonatal care.

  • Parents will have the right to take an additional week of leave for every week their baby is in neonatal care, up to 12 weeks – probably in a continuous block.
  • Those with at least 26 weeks’ service, who earn above the minimum pay threshold, will be entitled to pay at the current statutory rate.

Extending maternity redundancy protection

The government has confirmed its intention to extend the redundancy protection period for mothers on maternity leave.

  • Protection will apply to women from the point they notify their employer of their pregnancy until six months after their return to work, and will also apply to those taking adoption and shared parental leave.

Flexible working

A consultation on proposals to extend the right to request flexible working was published in 2021.

  • Responses closed in December 2021.
  • It’s likely any statutory amendments confirmed will be included in the Employment Bill.

 Timescales are not yet confirmed, but the measures could be introduced later in 2022 and into 2023.