Brexit and UK Employment Law
Brexit uncertainties are now set to continue beyond October, but government ministers have denied that UK employment rights will be eroded or diluted after Brexit, despite recent rumours suggesting the UK is planning to reduce its regulatory standards. In the meantime, employers are being encouraged to support their EU employees and check they have up-to-date information regarding settled status. It is still expected that with a Brexit deal, there will be an implementation period allowing free movement until the end of 2020. EU Citizens residing in the UK for five years or more by the end of 2020 will have the option to apply for settled status and those with under five years’ continuous residence will have the option to apply for pre-settled status, until they accrue five years and then apply for settled status. Irish citizens will not need to apply for settled status in the UK. Once free movement in Europe ends, the government then proposes to install a skills-based immigration policy.
Kay’s comment: The government’s Employer Toolkit provides a range of documents to help employers support EU citizens and their families regarding settled status applications. There is also an online option for employer’s to check job applicant’s right to work in the UK as an alternative to checking original documentation.
Holiday Pay for Part-Year Workers (Aug 2019)
The Court of Appeal has held that permanent workers on part-year contracts, should not have their 5.6 weeks’ statutory holiday entitlement pro-rated, but have it calculated using average earnings over a 12 week period (or 52 week period from 6th April 2020), excluding non-working weeks.
Kay’s comment: Holiday for employees on part-time contracts that operate throughout the year will not be affected. Although this decision is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court, businesses employing workers on permanent seasonal or term time contracts should review their holiday pay calculations and be prepared to make provision for any shortfalls. I will share further guidance on this when it is made available.
National Living Wage Increases (Sept 2019)
The government has announced plans to increase the national living wage, indicating the hourly rate could reach £10.50 by 2024 and be extended to all those aged 21 and over.
Every Mind Matters – New Health Initiative (October 2019)
Public Health England launched a major new mental health campaign this month called Every Mind Matters. It aims to make it easier for people to look after their own wellbeing and improve their mental health, by providing a digital hub full of advice, tips and resources and a new online tool to help everyone create their own action plan.
Kay’s comment: You have to register to be able to access/download the resources and do be aware that some printed materials are currently unavailable. A good starting place is the Partner Toolkit.
HR Article: Corporate Courage – Encouraging a Courageous Mindset
HR Article: Conscious Listening – How you can Improve your Listening Skills
ACAS Learning Online provides a wide range of FREE modules on employment subjects including mental health, discipline, flexible working and diversity
Please Note: The information contained in this Newsletter is provided for your general use only. It should not be treated as a substitute for obtaining professional employment advice on specific issues.