Littler Global Guide - United Kingdom - Q3 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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Three Employment Law Bills Become Law

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Jenny Allan, Associate – GQ | Littler

Three key employment law bills have recently become law, resulting in three new Acts. These are: 1) Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023; 2) Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023; and 3) Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023.

The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 makes largely procedural amendments to the existing flexible working request regime. The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 introduces a new statutory right for workers and agency workers to request a predictable working pattern subject to meeting qualifying criteria. Regulations are required to provide further details and to bring operative provisions into force for both Acts. It is anticipated that they will come into force in Summer 2024 and Autumn 2024 respectively to give employers time to prepare.

The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 has become law, but the Government’s power to set industry-specific minimum service levels (MSLs) during periods of strike action will not come into force until secondary legislation is passed following consultation. An accompanying draft code of practice for unions has also recently been subject to consultation. Any further steps are likely to be challenged by unions who have opposed the new law. For additional discussion on the new laws, please read: “Changes to Flexible Working Regime in the UK – What Employers Need to Know” and “UK: Trade Union Round-up – the Government Strikes Back (or does it?),” both published on

New UK-U.S. Data Bridge

New Order or Decree

Authors: Emily Partridge, Associate, and Deborah Margolis, Senior Associate – GQ | Littler

On July 10, 2023, following the invalidation of the Privacy Shield mechanism, the EU adopted the new Data Privacy Framework (the DPF) to facilitate the transfer of personal data from the EU to a U.S. organization in a way that meets the standards and protections required under EU data protection regulations. If a U.S. organization opts into the certification scheme under the DPF and complies with its requirements, then personal data may be transferred from the EU (but not the UK) to such U.S. organization without the need for detailed individual transfer documentation.

The UK has since followed suit and has published regulations due to come into force on October 12, 2023, essentially extending the EU-U.S. framework to the UK (referred to as the UK-U.S. Data Bridge). From this date, UK businesses will also be able to transfer personal data to organizations in the U.S. that are certified under, and which comply with, the UK-U.S. Data Bridge. Like Safe Harbor and Privacy Shield mechanisms (both of which were invalidated following a challenge) the DPF and UK-U.S. Data Bridge may also be challenged. We recommend that businesses that transfer data from the EU or UK to the U.S. in reliance on these mechanisms are mindful of any new developments in this area.

Illegal Working Fines for Employers Set to Triple

Proposed Bill or Initiative

Authors: Ben Rouse, Associate, and Vanessa Ganguin, Partner – GQ | Littler

From January 2024, fines are set to more than triple for employers who employ individuals who do not have permission to work in the UK. Employers in the United Kingdom will face penalties jumping from up to GBP 15,000 to up to GBP 45,000 per illegal worker for a first breach. Repeated breaches will result in fines of up to GBP 60,000 (up from GBP 20,000 currently). According to Home Office statistics, almost 5,000 civil penalties have been issued to employers since the start of 2018, with a total value of GBP 88.4m. How employers should check the right to work eligibility of anyone they are going to employ is not, however, changing with the new penalties.

For further information on how to avoid illegal working penalties, please see “UK Illegal Working Fines Triple,” published on

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.