Wed 01 Mar 2023

Employment Law Round Up - March 2023

Our monthly employment law round up.

Ethnicity pay gap guidance to be published

In a policy paper published in March last year the UK Government confirmed it would not be legislating for mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting "at this stage".  It did though commit to producing guidance for employers on voluntary reporting and this was expected last summer so it is now somewhat overdue.  When questioned in February 2023 on when this guidance was expected BEIS Parliamentary Under-Secretary Kevin Hollinrake confirmed that guidance would be published "in due course".

Waiting times for employment tribunal hearings on the increase

In response to a written question in Parliament, on 8 February the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice confirmed that the waiting time from a tribunal application being received to the first hearing (which may be a preliminary one) had increased to 49 weeks for the period January to March 2021.  Pre-pandemic (January to December 2019) the wait period was 38 weeks, although even that was a 6 week increase on the same period in 2018.  In the period Jan to December 2020, once the pandemic was underway, the wait time had increased again to 46 weeks.  These figures are believed to be based on UK wide figures rather than just England and Wales although the response to the question does not make this clear. 

UK Government backs Private Members' Bill to combat "one-sided flexibility"

The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Bill is a Private Members' Bill introduced to counteract "one sided flexibility" - where workers are, effectively, constantly on standby in case they are called up for a last minute shift.  The Bill will apply to all workers, including agency workers and employees.  If the worker's working pattern lacks certainty in terms of the hours or times they work, or if it is a fixed term contract of less than 12 months, then the worker will be able to make a formal application to change to a more predictable working pattern.  This will not be a day one right, with it being expected that a qualification period of 26 weeks will be required.  It should also be noted that this is a right to request a more predictable working pattern not a right to insist on it.

Retained EU Law Bill Update

During a parliamentary debate in the House of Lords on the retention of employment rights beyond the end of 2023 (the current sunset date in the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022-23) it was indicated that, in relation to maternity rights at least, the UK Government wishes to retain the level of protections currently available.  However, questions in relation to the retention of TUPE and the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations received no clear response.

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