Employment Law Updates in 2023

There have been recent updates to various aspects of employment law. Employers must be aware of the following changes.

1. Rehabilitation of Offenders

Recent amendments in the rehabilitation of offenders legislation, specifically outlined in Section 193 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, have significantly altered the disclosure timeframes for different custodial sentences.

Previously, individuals were obligated to disclose certain convictions indefinitely, but under the new legislation effective from 28th October, disclosure periods have been notably reduced.

For instance, a custodial sentence of over 4 years, which was previously deemed as “never spent,” now requires a disclosure period of 7 years, with certain exemptions for serious violent, sexual, and terrorism offences.

Similarly, sentences ranging from 2 ½ to 4 years have seen a reduction from 7 years to 4 years, emphasising a broader shift towards shorter disclosure periods across various conviction types. These changes highlight the evolving legal landscape regarding the rehabilitation of offenders, requiring careful consideration and adjustment of employer processes to align with the revised disclosure timelines.

It’s crucial to note that these periods may be extended in case of re-offending during the declaration period. Employers must update relevant forms and systems accordingly. Particularly, roles requiring basic or enhanced DBS checks remain unaffected.

2. Sexual Harassment

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023, is expected to come into force in October 2024, following Royal Assent. This marks a significant stride in combating workplace sexual harassment.

Under this legislation, all employers will be statutorily obligated to take reasonable steps to prevent sex harassment in the workplace. Failure to do so may lead to enforcement steps by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and successful tribunal claims can result in a compensation uplift of up to 25%.

3. Holiday Pay, TUPE, and Working Time Rules

A draft statutory instrument, anticipated to be effective from 1st January 2024, introduces comprehensive changes to holiday pay, TUPE, and working time rules. Key amendments include:

  • Simplification of holiday pay calculations: Rolled-up holiday pay (12.07% of pay) becomes lawful for part-year workers and those with irregular hours.
  • Retention of EU case law: Various EU case law aspects are restated, allowing the carry-over of statutory annual leave and regulation 13 leave in specific circumstances.
  • Definition of ‘normal remuneration’: Commission payments and other regular payments, such as overtime, are included in the definition of ‘normal remuneration’ for holiday pay purposes.
  • Record-keeping requirements: Additional working time record-keeping requirements, as outlined in the ECJ judgment in CCOO v Deutsche Bank, are removed.
  • TUPE transfer consultation: Small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) undertaking TUPE transfers of any size can consult employees directly, as can businesses of any size during a small transfer (fewer than 10 employees) in the absence of existing representatives.

These amendments aim to simplify processes, clarify legal obligations, and create a more flexible and responsive employment environment. In order to stay compliant with employment legislation, make sure you contact one of our team members for more information on the above legal changes.

Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.