Thu 30 May 2024

Employment Law Round Up: June 2024

Our monthly employment law round up.

Paternity Leave (Bereavement) Act 2024 passed into law

The Paternity Leave (Bereavement) Act 2024 started as a private member's bill and is now one of the last bills to receive Royal Assent and become law prior to the dissolution of Parliament for the general election. The Act ensures bereaved fathers will automatically get a day one right to paternity leave should the mother die. The same provision is made for those who are adopting or becoming parents through surrogacy, should the person who has elected to take adoption leave die. The bereaved parent may also be permitted to take paternity leave after shared parental leave, and the requirement to take the leave for the purpose of looking after a child will be disapplied where the child also dies or, in the case of adoption/surrogacy, the adoption is disrupted after the child is placed. The Act also allows the Secretary of State to make regulations providing for "keeping in touch" ("KIT") days.

Employee disputes most common legal issue for businesses

A recent multi-sector survey of 764 senior leaders has found that the most common type of legal dispute cited by UK businesses are disputes with employees. 72% of respondents reported an increase in cases (of all types) being brought against their organisations in the past five years. 60% expect a further increase in the next 12 months. Respondents said that in addition to significant financial cost, the litigation also impacted reputation, business operations and management time, and strategy.

Disability Confident Guide updated

The DWP/CIPD Disability Confident Guide for managers on recruiting, managing and developing people with a disability or health condition has been updated. The guide provides practical tips on areas including employer's legal obligations to disabled employees or applicants (including making reasonable adjustments), strategies to help recruit and retain disabled people and specific advice on certain disabilities and health conditions.

John Lewis publishes job interview questions

John Lewis has published job interview questions on its website in an attempt to make its application process more inclusive. Although candidates will be asked follow up questions that they will not have seen, the company believes allowing them to do some initial preparation will help reduce nerves. It is hoped this will allow candidates to more confidently demonstrate their skills, particularly those who are neurodiverse or who have different learning styles.  

2024 Neurodiversity Index Report published

The City and Guilds Foundation has published its second Neurodiversity Index report. Although it found more employers are focusing on neuro-inclusion, information collated from individual respondents to the survey highlighted that employers still have a long way to go. Recommendations included publishing interview questions (as John Lewis have recently done) as well as ensuring job descriptions are clear and understandable, that suitable accommodations are put in place for neurodivergent employees, encouraging representation of neurodivergent individuals at all levels and implementing neurodiversity champions and mentorship programmes. 

Modern slavery statement registry updated

The Modern slavery statement registry has been updated. Use of the registry is voluntary but is intended to make it easier for large businesses to demonstrate they are complying with their obligation to produce a slavery and human trafficking statement each financial year, as required by the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The updates include the use of email to notify registered companies who have not uploaded a statement since the registry was launched, as prompts to submit their latest statement. Changes have also been made to summary and search pages so potential customers can see what companies are doing (or not doing) to eliminate modern slavery from supply chains. 

Guidance on new holiday rules updated

The UK Government has updated the guidance on holiday pay entitlement reforms that took place earlier this year. The changes are of a fairly technical nature.

Other announcements

A number of recent announcements have been made. These relate to intended consultations or legislation that is not yet in force. These include:

  • The Equality and Human Rights Commission has stated it intends to publish a consultation in early summer on planned changes to its technical guidance on sexual harassment and harassment at work in advance of the introduction of the mandatory duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, currently scheduled for October of this year
  • The current UK Government has responded to the consultation on the draft statutory Code of Practice on Fair and Transparent Distribution of Tips, with a final version published that has now been approved by both the House of Commons and House of Lords. The measures are expected to come into force on 1 October of this year
  • The Department of Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care issued a call for evidence looking at reforming the current fit note process. Linked to this is the launch of a "WorkWell" pilot in 15 areas in England aimed at helping people manage their health/disability and identify workplace adjustments with the assistance of a Work and Health Coach. The service will link people with local employment support and health services intended to help them stay in or return to work. How this develops may well be impacted by the outcome of the general election
  • The current UK government announced a consultation on (i) abolishing the legal framework of European Works Councils in the UK, (ii) clarifying that TUPE only applies to employees, not workers, and (iii) clarifying that where a business transfers to multiple buyers' employees must have their full employment transfer to one transferee and not have their employment split between multiple transferees. Any further development here may well depend on the outcome of the general election

Make an Enquiry

From our offices we serve the whole of Scotland, as well as clients around the world with interests in Scotland. Please complete the form below, and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

Morton Fraser MacRoberts LLP will use the information you provide to contact you about your inquiry. The information is confidential. For more information on our privacy practices please see our Privacy Notice