Fri 03 May 2019

New Legislation, Guidance & Consultations - May 2019

We look at recently published legislation, consultations and guidance for employers, employees, HR professionals and others.

First off in a plethora of UK Government guidance that has been published over the last couple of months is the apparent resurrection of legislation restricting exit payments in the public sector.  Legislation on this was expected to come in to force in 2016 but it seemed to fall off the radar for some time.  The UK Government has now started a consultation on introducing regulations capping exit payments at £95,000.  While it is proposed that the cap will apply to all bodies where employment terms are subject to approval by the UK government, payments made by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate authority or any authority which wholly or mainly exercises functions devolved to Scotland will not be covered.  There are also proposed exemptions for the armed forces, the Secret Intelligence Service, the Security Service and the Government Communications Headquarters.  The consultation runs until 3 July 2019. 

The UK Government has also published a policy paper and consultation document on off-payroll working rules from April 2020.  This covers the extension of the off-payroll working rules, introduced for engagements in the public sector in April 2017, to the private sector and means businesses will become responsible for assessing the employment status of the off-payroll workers they engage.  The consultation is due to run until 28 May 2019.   

And finally, the UK Government has published guidance on calculating holiday pay for workers without fixed hours or pay.  It very much does what it says on the tin, explaining how to calculate holiday pay in the more complicated scenarios of atypical working.  It complements the guidance on calculating holiday pay for the majority of workers who work fixed hours with fixed pay which can be found at the government's website

The Scottish Government has published the Fair Work Action Plan setting out their plans to make Scotland a "world-leading Fair Work Nation" by 2025.  The plan provides an overview of actions being taken to achieve that vision as well as setting out what will be expected of employers, including no inappropriate use of zero hours contracts, taking action to tackle the gender pay gap and paying the real living wage. 

The CIPD have published guides for HR teams and people managers on how to assist women dealing with the menopause in the workplace, as well as providing printable resources for use in workplaces. With it being reported that the menopause costs the UK economy 14 million working days per year this is an issue that employers need to address.  

ACAS have also produced new guidance recently. The first covers age discrimination and provides advice on how to comply with the Equality Act.  It includes guidance on recruitment, training, performance management, redundancy and other areas where age discrimination is most likely to occur, as well as a "myth busting document". 

The second guide covers neurodiversity in the workplace, something relatively few people know much about.  As well as explaining what neurodiversity is, the guidance provides advice on what steps employers can take to support employees with ADHD, dyslexia, autism and other conditions in the workplace.


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