When will the Employment Bill be introduced?
Our expert employment lawyer explains which measures are due to come into place for workers and when we can expect these changes.
On 19 December 2019, the Government pledged a series of reforms including day one rights to flexible working, stable contracts of employment for gig economy workers, carer’s leave and enhanced for employees However, despite the bill being pledged over two years ago, we’re still waiting for it to be introduced.
When can we expect the delayed Employment Bill?
The Government now indicates that the Employment Bill will be introduced 'when Parliamentary time allows'.
What will be included in the Employment Bill?
The measures expected to be included in the new Employment Bill are wide-ranging and may include provisions that will provide employees with more rights regarding working patterns. This includes the right to request a more predictable contract after 26 weeks service for those with variable and unpredictable hours, a concept which formed part of the .
Other measures for the Employment Bill were announced as follows:
Workplace sexual harassment and tribunal time limits
The Government has suggested three main actions:
- Employers will be required to ‘take all reasonable steps’ to prevent
- Protection is to be implemented for employees regarding harassment from third parties
- The time limit for bringing these cases to the employment tribunal is set to be extended from 3 months to 6 months, providing people with more time to bring a claim after a sexual harassment act had been made
New right to carer’s leave
A proposed update is also in place for a carer’s leave policy. This means a new right to request up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave may apply from day one of employment.
Neonatal leave and pay
Parents of babies requiring neonatal care may be entitled to neonatal leave of up to 12 weeks, which will be paid if they have at least 26 weeks service.
Right to request flexible working
New single labour market enforcement body
On 8 June 2021, to the proposal to create a single enforcement body. If enacted, this will bring the , ), and into one organisation, with extensive powers to protect employment rights and improve employers’ compliance. If created, the body could focus on protecting workers in relation to and modern slavery, a national minimum wage, and
Extending redundancy protection for women and new parents
Under the Employment Bill, a new right could be created for pregnant employees at risk of redundancy to be offered suitable alternative employment. It’s thought this would be valid from the point of notifying their employer of their pregnancy, until 6 months after returning from maternity leave. This also may apply to those taking either adoption or . On 14 May 2021, the Women and Equalities Committee reported on the intention to extend a protection period to prevent .
Tips and gratuities
There may be a new requirement for employers to pass on all tips and gratuities to their workers in full under the new bill.
What should I do if I’m experiencing an employment issue?
While the progress of the Employment Bill has been thrown badly off course by the pandemic, there is a manifesto commitment to some of these measures on the part of the Government. Whether or not there’ll be time for Parliament to pass the Bill before the next general election remains to be seen.
Whenever these changes may be actioned, our experts are here if you’re experiencing issues with your employer. We’re one of the UK’s largest consumer law firms, and our team have many years of experience supporting clients facing problems at work.