Thu 30 Mar 2023

Employment Law Round Up - April 2023

Our monthly employment law round up.

Third of workers would quit if required to return to the office full-time

Research showing how much the world of work has changed since the first lockdown has found that more than a third of employees would quit their jobs if required to return full-time to the office.  However, as we move further away from the pandemic, employees desire to continue working flexibly seems to be becoming increasingly out of step with employers desire to have employees return to the office.  Almost half of UK company leaders say they would prefer employees to be in the office more frequently.  Demand for remote roles is also outstripping supply with the research finding that job postings for remote roles has fallen by 30% compared to last year.

Inflation and pandemic driving employee discussions on pay

A recent survey looking at the gender pay gap has found that over half of the UK employees surveyed do not think enough has been done to address the gender pay gap, and that nearly two thirds would be willing to publicly share their salary to benefit others knowledge of pay in their industry.  Nearly two thirds of employees also said that inflation has made them more likely to discuss pay with colleagues, and over half say the pandemic has driven the same discussion.  Two thirds of employees also said they would be more willing to work at a company that discloses gender pay gaps - something that all larger companies in the UK are required to do annually.

Menopause action plan to be required by Labour government

If the Labour party get into government they will require employers with 250 or more employees to publish and implement a menopause action plan.  The plans would be submitted using the online portal used for gender pay gap reporting.  New guidance on how to support menopausal employees would also be published. 

Guidance on helping people to return to work published

The UK Government announced a "returnerships programme" as part of the 2023 Spring Budget.  This has been followed by the publication of Employer guidance: helping people return to work which addresses who "returners" might be and why and how to support them.  It also has practical advice on adapting recruitment practices, how to assess returners fairly and setting up a returner programme.  The guidance confirms that returners can be a person of any gender returning from any type of career break.  A Returner toolkit has also been published for people looking to return to work.

More workers prefer to be paid weekly

Recent research has found that, approximately, a third of workers would prefer to be paid weekly, whereas currently only 15% are.  The primary driving force for this is workers' desire to be in control of their budget, something which more regular pay would give them more control over.  Financial wellbeing in the workplace - feeling secure and in control of finances - is something that has been brought sharply into focus in the last year with the cost of living crisis. 

And finally…..when the side hustle goes too far

It has been reported that Birmingham City Council have recently sacked an employee when they found out that the individual was holding down a second full-time job for a local NHS trust.  The individual in question was caught out by a payroll match that highlighted the NHS job, which the employee had claimed was "casual", had a higher than expected salary.  Further investigations established the employee was working from home full-time in both roles - no mention of how well he was performing in either.

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