Earlier this year we predicted that 2023 would be a busy one for employment law, and so it has proved. Businesses across the country are going to have to keep up with the changes to leave, to parental rights, and look out for a crackdown on National Minimum Wage compliance – luckily our Head of Employment Ami Naru is able to keep you up to date with all of these. Below she outlines some of the biggest changes of the year so far in her TravlawHR Employment Wrap Up –
Changes to Paternity Leave
The government has published a response to a 2019 consultation on proposals for reforming parental leave and pay, which was issued as part of Good Work Plan: proposals for families
The response sets out substantive changes to paternity leave, which will be implemented in due course:
- Rather than having to choose between taking one week or two weeks, employed fathers and partners will be able to take the current entitlement of up to two weeks’ statutory paternity leave in two separate blocks of one week of leave if they wish.
- Employed fathers and partners will be able to take their statutory paternity leave at any time in the first year (within 52 weeks of birth or placement for adoption), rather than just in the first eight weeks after birth or placement for adoption.
- The government will change the notice requirements for statutory paternity leave to make these more proportionate to the amount of time the father or partner plans to take off work. It is proposed that fathers will need to give 28 days’ notice before each period of leave they intend to take, although the notice of entitlement will still need to be given 15 weeks before birth. Currently, notice of the date on which an employee wants paternity leave to start has to be provided 15 weeks before birth.
In light of these changes, it would be timely for employers to review their Paternity leave policies.
Changes to Neonatal Care, Carer’s Leave Bill and Protection from Redundancy Rights Paternity Leave
The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill, Carer’s Leave Bill and Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill received Royal Assent on 24 May 2023, becoming the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023, Carer’s Leave Act 2023 and Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023. Please see our earlier article for more details on these.
Breaches of National Minimum Wage
Compliance with the National Minimum wage (NMW) is something that the government continue to monitor and last month, the government published a list of 202 companies, including several big household names that have failed to pay the minimum wage to their lowest paid staff members. These 202 employers in total faced penalties of over £7million and were ordered to pay back £5million.
The most common forms of underpayment were making deductions from wages (39% of employers) or failing to pay workers properly for their working time (39% of employers). The incorrect apprenticeship rate was found to have been paid by 21% of employers.
The government is clearly sending out a strong message that no employer is exempt from paying workers the statutory minimum wage. If you need assistance in ensuring compliance with the NMW, which can sometimes be tricky to calculate, please do get in touch.
TravlawHR is here to help your travel business with help and advice on employment issues, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0113 258 0033 or check back on our website www.travlaw.co.uk for the very latest!
This article was originally published on: 6 July 2023