Littler Global Guide - United Kingdom - Q4 2023

Browse through brief employment and labor law updates from around the globe. Contact a Littler attorney for more information or view our global locations.

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New Obligation for Employers to Prevent Sexual Harassment

New Legislation Enacted

Authors: Jenny Allan, Associate, and Raoul Parekh, Partner – GQ | Littler

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 places a new duty on employers to take “reasonable steps” to prevent sexual harassment of their employees in the course of their employment. Employers that fail to comply with this new obligation could face enforcement action by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Also, if an employee successfully brings a sexual harassment claim in the Employment Tribunal and the employer has failed in this positive duty, any compensation awarded to the employee may be increased by up to 25%. The Act applies to England, Wales and Scotland and is due to go into effect in October 2024, providing time for employers to prepare. The Act is available at

New Employment Regulations

New Legislation Enacted

Authors: Emily Partridge, Associate, and Raoul Parekh, Partner – GQ | Littler

In the wake of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 (REUL Act), new regulations in England, Wales and Scotland changed:

  1. The recordkeeping requirements under the Working Time Regulations 1998. From January 1, 2024, employers must continue to keep adequate records to show compliance with certain limits (e.g., 48-hour average weekly working limit) but may create, maintain and keep such records in such manner and format as they reasonably think fit and need not record each worker’s daily working hours if they are able to demonstrate compliance without doing so.
  2. The requirement to elect employee representatives for information and consultation obligations pursuant to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. For transfers taking place on or after July 1, 2024, the requirement to elect employee representatives is removed provided no existing employee representatives are in place for: 1) small businesses (where the employer employs fewer than 50 employees); or 2) businesses of any size where there are a small number transferring employees (fewer than 10).

The Act also changed the rules on vacation, which we discuss in the summary further below. The Act is available at

Supreme Court Rules That Deliveroo Riders Are Not Employees

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Authors: Ben Rouse, Associate, and Raoul Parekh, Partner – GQ | Littler

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that riders with Deliveroo, the food delivery company, are not in an “employment relationship” with the company for which they provide services, and are therefore not entitled to rights under Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which includes rights to form and join trade unions. The Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB), a trade union, applied for collective bargaining rights for the Deliveroo riders, but the lower courts ruled that Deliveroo riders were not entitled to be recognized for collective bargaining as they were not in an “employment relationship.” The Supreme Court agreed.

A key rationale for the ruling was the riders’ genuine and exercised right to substitute other riders. Other factors considered included that the riders have no set hours of work and are not required to work at all; have no set place of work; tended to have multiple sources of income and the ability to work for competitors; and use their own equipment.

Changes to Vacation Laws

New Regulation or Official Guidance

Authors: Stephanie Compson, Professional Support Lawyer, and Raoul Parekh, Partner – GQ | Littler

The Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) regarding vacation laws for England, Wales and Scotland have been amended to:

  1. Include European case law principles regarding vacation pay entitlements, and carry-over of unused vacation leave from one year to the next.
  2. Create an entirely new category of vacation entitlements for “irregular hours workers” and “part-year workers,” including allowing such workers to accrue vacation leave as they work and permitting employers to choose to pay an increase to a worker’s regular pay as rolled up holiday.
  3. Remove rules that had been introduced during the pandemic to permit carry-over of vacation leave when it had not been reasonably practicable for a worker to take such leave due to COVID.

Most changes went into effect on January 1, 2024, but the new entitlements for irregular hours workers and part-year workers go into effect on or after April 1, 2024. The regulations are available at for England, Wales and Scotland and for Northern Ireland.

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.