Wed 04 Jan 2023

Employment Law Round Up - January 2023

Our monthly employment law round up.

NHS England issue guidance on supporting staff during menopause

NHS England has launched their first guidance for line managers and colleagues on supporting staff during menopause.  The guidance is designed to be transferable to other workplaces and includes suggestions on how an organisation can be more menopause friendly as well as listing support including the use of flexible working if needed.

CIPD identify seven recommendations to improve diversity and inclusion

A new CIPD report, Inclusion and Diversity at Work survey report 2022 has identified that just 30% of employers say leaders in their organisations are completely committed to having a diverse workforce.  Based on survey findings used to inform the report, it makes seven recommendations to improve or re-energise the approach taken by people professionals to diversity and inclusion.  These are:-

  • Build an evidence-based long-term plan or strategy with impact measures to track progress.
  • Take a data-driven approach to gain buy-in, investment and maximum impact.
  • Critically assess your people management approach with an I&D lens.
  • Enable managers, including through job design and training on core people management skills, to fulfil their key role in creating inclusive workplaces.
  • Support leaders to champion I&D as role models and hold others accountable.
  • Tailor your I&D approach to your organisation context.
  • Take a long-term view; don’t take your foot off the pedal.

Anti-racist employment strategy launched in Scotland

The Scottish Government has published a new strategy intended to address the persistent inequality in the labour market for those impacted negatively because of their race or ethnicity.  The strategy is both a call for action and a guide to address the issues that lead to inequality in the labour market. 

Proposed Scottish Members Bill to introduce "safe journey home" duty for employers

MSP Maggie Chapman has proposed a Scottish Members Bill that will require employers to pay for workers' journeys home if they work beyond 11pm at night.  The Bill aligns with the Unite the union campaign "Get me Home Safely".  That campaign has already gained backing from a number of local councils around Scotland. 

More companies sign up to four-day working week with no loss of pay

Following a survey of companies that took part in a six month pilot, 100 companies have signed up to permanently having a four day working week.  The survey found that 88% of the companies involved found the four day week to be working well and 95% reported productivity had either stayed the same or increased since the trial began.

Review of senior managers and certification regime ("SMCR") due in early 2023

In early December, the UK Government announced a review of the SMCR.  It remains to be seen what this will entail but the UK Government's call for evidence focuses on the effectiveness, scope and proportionality of the SMCR and seeks views on potential improvements and reforms. 

Judicial review of new strike legislation to proceed

The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2022, permitting the use of agency staff to cover the duties of striking workers, came into force in July 2022.  Previously it had been unlawful to use agency workers in this way.  Challenges to the regulations were subsequently brought by a number of different unions and the High Court has now confirmed that all of these challenges have been given permission to proceed.  The unions will be arguing that the regulations are unlawful because the Secretary of State failed to consult with them and that they violate fundamental trade union rights protected under the European Convention on Human Rights.

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