Tue 31 Aug 2021

What else is happening in employment law? - September 2021

Our monthly employment law round up.

Right to Work Checks - End Date Extended

The temporary adjusted right to work checks changes made on 30 March 2020 included checks being carried out over videos calls, the use of a photographs or scans of documents for checks rather than original documents and the use of the Home Office Employer Checking Service in the event that an employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents. These temporary measures were due to end on 31 August 2021, however, the UK Government has announced they have now been extended to 5 April 2022. This extension will be welcomed by employers who  will maintain a statutory defence against a civil penalty if the checks are carried out in the prescribed way or in accordance with the adjusted checks guidance.

Data protection employment practices guidance - ICO calling for views

Since the Information Commissioner's Office last published their comprehensive employment practices guidance much has changed in the way many people work and in terms of data protection law. As such, the ICO plans to replace the current guidance ensuring it covers the changes in data protection law and reflects also the changes in the way employers use technology and interact with their staff. The Information Commissioner is therefore calling for views on data protection and employment practices to help shape their new guidance. They are seeking input from all relevant stakeholders including employers, employees, workers, recruiting agencies, organisations representing the interests of staff, as well as suppliers of employment technology solutions, to name a few.

TUPE - updated advice for employers

ACAS have published updated TUPE advice for employers which is available on their website here.

Breach of NMW legislation

191 employers who underpaid their staff breached national minimum wage (NMW) legislation. On 5 August 2021, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published a list naming those employers. The total amount the employers failed to pay was £2.1 million to over 34,000 workers between the period of 2011 to 2018. The list included well-known companies such as The Body Shop, Tony and Guy, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Pret A Manger. Not only did these 191 employers have to pay back what they owed, they were collectively fined £3.2 million. The naming and shaming list, which is the second time the UK Government has published such a list, will serve as a reminder to employers of the importance of getting their NMW calculations correct.

National disability strategy

The UK Government has recently published a National Disability Strategy. The overarching aim of the strategy is to eliminate barriers commonly faced by disabled people in various aspects of their lives with a key focus on the workplace. Within the strategy, the UK Government sets out the steps it will take to achieve its aims. Key commitments include: (1) improving the Access to Work scheme, including by piloting a new Access to Work Adjustment Passport in 2021 to help disabled people move more freely between jobs; (2) by the end of the year launching consultations on workforce disability reporting and on making flexible working the default; and (3) by the end of the year setting out next steps for the introduction of up to one week of unpaid carer's leave. The UK Government plans to monitor progress and the impact of the strategy with a dashboard monitoring progress due to be published by summer 2022.

Menopause in the workplace

An inquiry into workplace issues surrounding women with menopause, for which submissions can be made until 17 September 2021, has been launched by the Women and Equalities Committee of the House of Commons. The key aim of the inquiry is to identify how to best tackle the issue of women leaving their jobs as a result of experiencing menopausal symptoms. A review of existing discrimination legislation and workplace practices will be undertaken by the Committee to assess whether enough is being done to provide support to menopausal women. Recommendations will be put forward to address gender inequality and its wider impact to society and the economy as a whole.





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