UK Employment Law Reform – Horizon Scanning of Employment Bills

Despite the absence of the previously promised Employment Bill, new Bills that will, if passed, make changes to employment laws, have been coming thick and fast over the last few months. Many of these smaller bills have been put forward as Private Members Bills and contain proposals that were originally set to be included in the much-anticipated Employment Bill, which has been dropped.

Given the flurry of activity and scattered approach, we pull together in one place the key proposals below that employers should have on their radar. 

Bill of Rights Bill

The Bill of Rights Bill proposes to reform the law relating to human rights and would replace the Human Rights Act 1998.

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Carer’s Leave Bill

The Bill proposes to introduce a statutory leave entitlement of one week of unpaid leave per year to provide or arrange care.

Additional information:

Data Protection and Digital Information (No. 2) Bill

The Data Protection and Digital Information (no. 2) Bill to Parliament on 8 March 2023 ("DPDI No.2"), replaces the previous Data Protection and Digital Information Bill ("DPDI No.1").  Many of the reforms from DPDI No.1 have been carried over into DPDI No.2, but some of them have been altered. The DPDI No.2 proposes to reform the UK’s privacy and data protection regime.

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Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill

The Bill proposes to introduce amendments to the existing flexible working regime.

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Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill

A Bill to ensure that tips, gratuities and service charges paid by customers are allocated to workers.

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Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) Bill

A Bill to make provision about the extension of pensions automatic enrolment to jobholders under the age of 22; and to make provision about the lower qualifying earnings threshold for automatic enrolment.

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Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill

The Bill proposes to introduce statutory Neonatal Care Leave and Neonatal Care Pay for parents of babies who require specialist neonatal care but will be subject to regulations setting out the detail. Such rights will be in addition to other statutory leave entitlements such as maternity and paternity leave.

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Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill

The Bill proposes to extend protection to pregnant employees (or those whose pregnancy has recently ended), and employees who have returned to work following a period of maternity, adoption, or shared parental leave.

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Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill

A Bill to revoke certain retained EU law; to make provision relating to the interpretation of retained EU law and to its relationship with other law; to make provision relating to powers to modify retained EU law; to enable the restatement, replacement or updating of certain retained EU law; to enable the updating of restatements and replacement provision; and to abolish the business impact target.

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Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill

The Bill proposes to give the UK Government new powers to make regulations setting minimum service levels for certain relevant services, including: a) health; (b) fire and rescue; (c) education; (d) transport; (e) decommissioning of nuclear installations and management of radioactive waste and spent fuel; and (f) border security relevant services.  Consultations in respect of regulations to set minimum service levels for ambulance, fire and rescue and passenger rail services have been launched.

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Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill

The Bill proposes to expand the current protections from workplace harassment.

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Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Bill

The Bill proposes to introduce a right for workers to request a predictable working pattern (on a framework largely similar to the existing statutory flexible working framework).

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Watch this space

Its set to be a busy period in the upcoming months, and we will keep a close eye on these Bills as they work through the Parliamentary process and provide further substantive updates as they arise. 

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.