An Update on Employment Law Reform in the UK – Bills Receive Royal Assent

Since our article covering the key employment law bills currently making their way through the legislative process in the United Kingdom, a number of these bills have now received Royal Assent. For ease, we pull together a high-level summary of each of these acts, and what employers should watch out for in the months ahead.

1. Carer’s Leave Act 2023

The Carer’s Leave Act introduces a new statutory entitlement to one week’s unpaid leave per year for employees who are carers.

No immediate action needs to be taken by employers at this stage, as we are still awaiting regulations to be laid before the Act can be implemented. Those regulations will confirm how employees go about taking this leave, including what notices need to be given (if any).

2. Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023

The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023 creates a new type of statutory leave (and, subject to qualifying criteria, pay) for parents and carers who have a child requiring medical or palliative care after birth. This leave will be available to be taken before the end of a period of at least 68 weeks after the child’s birth.

However, we require further regulations to confirm the details including the length of this leave and the rate of pay. No immediate action needs to be taken while we await these regulations.

3. Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 extends the existing protection from redundancy during maternity, adoption or shared parental leave to “during or after” such periods of leave or “during or after” a protected period of pregnancy.

The Act will come into force in the coming months but requires further regulations to set out the specific protections available (the Act itself provides little detail). No immediate action needs to be taken while we await these further regulations.

4. Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023

The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill recently received Royal Assent and the Act is expected to come into force in May 2024. The Act creates a legal obligation for employers to allocate qualifying tips, gratuity and service charges fairly between workers. We have looked at this Act in more detail in our article here.

Watch this Space… 

We will provide further substantive updates when we have more detail on the timelines and content of supporting regulations. 

* Hannah Drury is a Paralegal and Trainee Solicitor in GQ|Littler’s London office.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.