What are the Employment Law Changes in 2023 and Beyond?
We are going to see a number of employment law changes in 2023, and we want to support you as an employer.
It’s the start of a brand-new year and HR:4UK are here to keep you informed with all of the latest in HR and employment law. 2023 is going to be a significant year for employment law, and you need to understand the changes.
Today, we explore the developments in these key areas of HR and employment law that can be expected in 2023.
National Wage Increases
The government has announced increases in the National Living Wage (NLW) and the National Minimum Wage (NMW), the rate for statutory family leave and the rate for statutory sick pay to take effect in April 2023.
The NLW and NMW will increase with effect from 1 April 2023 as follows:
• Age 23 or over (NLW rate): £10.42 (up 9.7% from £9.50)
• Age 21-22: £10.18 (up 10.9% from £9.18)
• Age 18 to 20: £7.49 (up 9.7% from £6.83)
• Age 16 to 17: £5.28 (up 9.7% from £4.81)
• Apprentice rate: £5.28 (up 9.7% from £4.81)
• Accommodation offset amount: £9.10 (up 4.6% from £8.70)
The rate for statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and parental bereavement leave will increase to £172.48 a week (an increase from £156.66 a week). These new rates come into effect on 10 April 2023.
Statutory Sick Pay will increase to £109.40 a week (an increase from £99.35 a week). This increase also comes into effect from 10 April 2023.
The Employment Relations (flexible working) Bill 2022-23 aims to make changes to the right to request flexible working from your employer. This is a Private Members Bill that is expected to make the following changes to flexible working requests:
• Employees will now be permitted to make two flexible working requests within 12 months
• The employer response time will now be two months rather than three
• The right to request flexible working arrangements will become a Day One Right
• Employees will now not have to detail how their request might affect the employer
• It is encouraged that alternative arrangements are discussed should the initial request be denied
The government confirmed its support in its response to the 2021 consultation regarding flexible working laws.
In June 2022, the government introduced the Bill of Rights Bill 2022-23 in an effort to repeal the Human Rights Act of 1998. The aim is to also create a new domestic human rights framework, one that works around the European Court of Human Rights. The UK remains a signatory and therefore must frame the new Act around this.
Whilst there was some controversy around this, this Bill is expected to be back in parliament shortly, after being dropped before the second reading in September 2022.
Known frequently as ‘fire and rehire’, the practice of dismissal and re-engagement is also being changed this year. In early 2022, the government announced its plans to form a new Statutory Code of Practice concerning dismissal and re-engagement.
Therefore, we can expect to see this in 2023.
Tips and Gratuities
For a long time, the question of ‘who do tips legally belong to?’ has been on the mind of employers and employees alike. However, as discussed in our previous article, the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill 2022-23 states that an employer must ensure the total amount of tips, gratuities and service charges is allocated fairly between workers of the employer in the business.
In the summer of 2022, the government announced its support for this bill.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill, sets out employers’ liability for harassment of their employees by third parties. Essentially, it is the duty of the employer to take all reasonable steps to prevent the sexual harassment of their employees in the workplace. Provision must be made for the enforcement of that duty and compensation uplift in sexual harassment cases must be provided where there has been a breach of such duty. At the Bill’s second reading in October of 2022, the government detailed their support for the Bill.
If passed in 2023, a number of Private Members Bills will make changes to family-friendly rights such as introducing a statutory right to Carer’s Leave and Neonatal Leave and Pay.
The Carers Leave Bill 2022-23 will introduce a Day One Right entitling an employee who is an unpaid carer to take a week’s unpaid leave in any 12-month period to arrange or provide care for a dependant who has a long-term care need. The government announced, in October 2022, that it is backing the Bill with no timetable for implementation as yet.
The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill 2022-2023 will introduce the right to paid leave for eligible employees with the responsibility for children receiving neonatal care. Parents will have the right to neonatal care leave of at least one week and up to a maximum of 12 weeks leave regardless of the length of service. Employees with at least 26 weeks of continuous service will have the right to receive statutory neonatal care pay at the prescribed rate. At the time the Bill had its first reading in June 2022, the government announced that it would be backing the Bill and again, there is no known timetable for implementation.
The Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill 2023-2024 will introduce new rules offering extending redundancy protection for women and new parents by providing greater protection in any redundancy process during pregnancy and for an anticipated period of six months after the return from maternity and other forms of family leave.
Following the strike action in the public transport sector, the Transport Strikes Bill 2022-23 will provide minimum service levels in the future. In addition to this, the government has shown that it is considering rolling this measure out across other public services to deter industrial action in the public sector.
Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill
We may see further changes to certain UK employment law that derives from EU law. There has been no indication from the government what may change and there may well be implications for regulations covering Working Time, Transfer of undertaking (Protection of Employment), agency workers, and part-time and fixed-term employees.
Given the significant implications, HR:4UK will continue to monitor developments and keep you informed.
Choose HR:4UK in 2023
We strive to empower businesses, with expert and professional HR support. Allow yourself to focus on your business and consult with HR:4UK today for better guidance through the changes in employment law in 2023.
A qualified employment law solicitor and our managing director, Angela has unparalleled legal expertise and decades of experience and knowledge to draw from. She’s a passionate speaker and writer that loves to keep employers updated with upcoming changes to legislation, and is a regular guest speaker on BBC Leicester Radio.