Employment Advice (For Business)

Awareness for employers – future changes to employment law

April 2024 was a big month for employers, with changes to the National Minimum Wage, the method of calculating annual leave for employees who work irregular hours, and changes around flexible working.

23 May 2024

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Esther Marshall

Esther Marshall

See our blog on the latter here: Flexible working requests – changes from April 2024 | Mullis & Peake (mplaw.co.uk)

 In this blog, we look at further changes which are on the horizon.

Changes to terms and conditions of employment

The Government’s statutory code of practice in relation to the controversial “fire and re-hire” approach to changing employees’ terms and conditions of employment (which made the news when British Gas adopted the technique) is expected to come into force over the summer. The code covers a requirement to explore alternatives to dismissal and to engage in meaningful and transparent consultation, using dismissal and re-engagement only as a last resort, and a requirement to consult with trade unions or employee representatives. An employer’s failure to follow the code will not result in a stand-alone claim, but Employment Tribunals will be able to increase certain awards by up to 25% if the failure was “unreasonable”.

It should be noted that, if the General Election results in a Labour government, it is likely that “fire and re-hire” will be banned altogether.

Changes to TUPE

 From 1 July 2024, employers will be able to consult directly with employees (as opposed to electing employee representatives) in relation to TUPE transfers if they have fewer than 50 employees, or if fewer than 10 employees are transferring.

Sexual harassment

 The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) 2023, expected to come into force on 26 October, imposes a duty on employers to take “reasonable” steps to prevent the sexual harassment of employees.  Any compensation awarded against an employer for sexual harassment may be increased by up to 25% if the employer is found to have failed in its duty to take reasonable steps to prevent that harassment.

M&P Commentary

Esther Marshall, specialist in Employment law, said:

“Employment law is an ever-changing landscape which can be difficult for employers to navigate. It is important that all employers stay up-to-date on changes to the law, otherwise they risk an Employment Tribunal claim. Taking advice from a specialist employment solicitor, as well as making sure all policies and procedures are up to date, can prevent problems from arising in the first place.”

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