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Has keeping up with the latest employment law developments fallen by the wayside amidst your summer holidays? Don’t worry – our team at Howells Solicitors has you covered with a roundup of notable legislative changes and updates from this past summer that employers should know.


Proposed Worker Protections Bill Amended

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill, which aims to strengthen employee safeguards, is still underway in Parliament but has been significantly diluted. Two key amendments have been made:

  • Removing employer liability for third-party harassment of staff. The initial proposal to hold employers responsible for harassment by external parties was scrapped, maintaining the status quo. 
  • Requiring “reasonable steps” instead of “all reasonable steps” to guard staff from sexual harassment. This somewhat reduces the burden on employers.

While worker protections may still be expanded, the Labour party has indicated revisiting this legislation if elected.


More Flexibility for New Fathers’ Paternity Leave

Changes are coming to paternity leave following a 2019 governmental review. Key adjustments include:

  • Allowing fathers to split statutory 2-week leave into two 1-week blocks
  • Permitting paternity leave anytime in the first year versus only the first 8 weeks
  • Requiring 28 days’ notice per leave period instead of 15 weeks



High Court Quashes Agency Worker Strike Regulations

Controversial regulations enabling agencies to provide temporary staff during strikes were deemed unlawful. The government failed to adequately consult before passing the 2022 amendment. Consequently, agencies cannot currently fill roles during industrial action.

Minimum Service Levels Introduced for Key Worker Strikes

The new Strikes (Minimum Service Level) Act grants the government power to mandate minimum staffing for vital services like railways and ambulance crews during strikes. After notice, employers can issue work notices dictating the minimum workforce. Unions must then limit strike participation to meet service levels.


ACAS Updates Guidance on Managing Sickness Absence

ACAS published refreshed advice on handling employee sickness absences. New guidance covers best practices for absence policies, trigger systems, and overall absence management.


Presidential Guidance on Dispute Resolution Released

New guidance explains various alternative dispute resolution approaches for Employment Tribunal cases. Significantly, tribunals may now order certain methods even without party consent.


Key Takeaways for Employers

With frequent legislative changes, it’s essential for employers to stay current on employment law. Contact our team at Howells Solicitors to ensure your organisation understands and complies with the latest requirements. We’re always available to answer questions and provide legal support. Don’t leave yourself at risk – leverage our expertise to navigate the regulatory landscape confidently.

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