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Employment Law Updates: What employers need to know

Employment Law is constantly evolving – here is a round-up of the Employment Law updates so far in 2022 to be aware of.

Neonatal care

From 15th July parents whose babies require neonatal care are eligible to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave. Neonatal Care Leave is an additional leave on-top of statutory maternity and paternity leave and will be available to employees from the first day of employment.

Long Covid and disability status

Over two million people in the UK are reported to be living with Long Covid, and there is now precedent that Long Covid sufferers can be classed as disabled. In a recent case, Burke V Turning Point Scotland, an employment tribunal ruled that long Covid can qualify as a disability. While this does not bind any other tribunal decision it isn’t the first ruling to classify Long Covid as a disability and is unlikely to be the last. The case ruled that a caretaker who was struggling with ongoing Covid symptoms was protected by the Equality Act 2010 as a disabled person.

As the laws in the UK currently stand, employers must approach claims of Long COVID case-by-case and be mindful of disability, age, ethnicity and gender discrimination. Meanwhile, employers are encouraged to focus on making reasonable adjustments to support employees who may be experiencing symptoms of long COVID as small changes could go a long way.

No additional protections for the menopause

Menopause symptoms affect millions of women in the UK, and there have been cases in recent years where successful claims for disability and sex discrimination have been brought against employers where dismissals or unfair treatment have arisen.

However, the Government has confirmed that it has no plans to amend the Equality Act 2010 to include menopause as a protected characteristic, such as race, sex or sexual orientation.

Allocation of Tips

Tips must be paid to staff in full and distributed fairly, according to a new Private Members’ Bill which has received government support.

The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill is a Private Members’ Bill sponsored By Dean Russell MP, which was backed by the government at its second reading in Parliament on 15 July 2022, and is now expected to become law.

The Bill intends to overhaul tipping practices so that all tips, gratuities and service charges (“tips”) are distributed fairly amongst staff and paid without deductions.

Strikes and agency staff

On July 21st 2022, new legislation from the Government allows businesses most affected by industrial action to call upon agency or temporary workers at short notice to fill any gaps. Formerly, this may have constituted a criminal offence, but now businesses can hire temporary staff to minimise the disruption strikes can oppose.

As Employment Law is always evolving, it’s critical for organisations to stay up to date with the latest updates. As a skilled HR consulting firm, we support our customers with the core aspects of their business operations from recruitment to management coaching and ensuring that both their technology is fit for purpose, and that their processes follow the latest legislative updates.

For more information on employment law updates and how these may affect your business get in touch with HR Inspire –  contact our expert Hertfordshire based HR team >>

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