We round up the latest employment news.
Government: no plans to introduce menopause as a protected characteristic
The Minister for Work and Pensions in the House of Lords has confirmed that the government has no current plans to introduce menopause as an additional protected characteristic in the Equality Act 2010.
The government has said that its key objective “is to ensure that women going through the menopause are treated fairly at work by ensuring that employers are fully aware of the challenges faced by these women and their current obligations”. It also says that it will consult with the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Acas to assess whether existing guidance on the menopause adequately reflects the growing body of employment cases on this issue. Once it’s done this, it will look at whether improvements can be made to increase employer and employee understanding of the law.
New tribunal statistics reveal drop in number of claims
The Courts and Tribunal service have published its
latest set of quarterly tribunal statistics which indicate that:
Between November 2020 and May 2021, the number of new cases fell by 42%
In December 2021, the number of new cases was down 51% on the November 2020 figures.
In the first few months of 2022, the number of new cases has bounced back a bit. However, this data confirms that the number of new cases has fallen significantly since late 2020 and is now running below pre-COVID levels.
How should HR handle the cost of living crisis?
Inflation is likely to hit 10% in the autumn. Many people are already feeling the pinch including many people who work full-time.
Personnel Today provide
six tips to consider:
Being creative with reward
Supporting employee’s mental health
Acting fairly in terms of the wages paid
Reducing the commute
Government considering major changes to strike laws
The government is considering legal changes to
allow agency workers to cover striking staff. The Conservative government first raised this in its 2015 manifesto which stated: “We will … repeal nonsensical restrictions banning employers from hiring agency staff to provide essential cover during strikes”.
Under the current law, employment businesses (recruitment agencies) commit a criminal offence if they supply workers to an employer in order to cover for a worker who’s on strike or taking part in other industrial action. It’s also a criminal offence to engage agency workers during official industrial action, and breach is subject to significant financial penalties. Women and Equalities Committee issue call for evidence on National Disability Strategy inquiry
Last year, the government published a
policy paper setting out its National Disability Strategy. Its aim was to help transform the everyday lives of people with disabilities, including in a workplace context. The Women and Equalities Committee has issued a call for evidence on this strategy and is asking people for their views. It’s particularly keen to hear from disabled people. The deadline for submissions is Sunday 24 July 2022.
You can read more about our views on the National Disability Strategy
here. Working from home post COVID-19: new statistics and analysis
The Trades Union Congress has published
analysis on homeworking since the pandemic. It found that regular homeworking by UK workers has tripled, rising from 6.8% in 2019, and 12.1% in 2020, to 22.4% in 2021. The figures show a permanent increase in homeworking, with 91% of those who worked from home during the pandemic wanting to continue working remotely some of the time.
The Office for National Statistics has also
published the results of surveys taken between April 2021 and May 2022, which look at the future of home working. This indicates that 84% of workers who were required to work from home during the pandemic planned to use a hybrid working pattern in the future. New report on hybrid working
Leeds University Business School has published an interactive report:
‘Where is Your Office Today?’, providing part one of its research findings on adapting offices for the future of work. The report identifies five types of hybrid working: free hybrids, timeless hybrids, nomadic hybrids, fixed hybrids and balanced hybrids. Each form of hybrid working has implications for the type and amount of office space required. EU’s approach to artificial intelligence
The European Parliament Research Service (EPRS) has published an
assessment of the EU’s legal framework on AI and digital tools in workplace management and evaluation. The key findings are that AI will become prominent in the workplace, but this will pose a challenge for businesses, as the functionality and the utility of many forms of AI at work remain in doubt.
It makes it clear that urgent action is needed as businesses that lead in developing AI technologies will set the lines that other employers follow. You can read our views on the employment risks of using AI
here. New changes to ESFA’s apprenticeship programme
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has announced its
plans to improve and simplify its apprenticeships system, which is used to provide training, assess apprentices, and meet the skills needs of employers. The planned changes, which include amendments to the baseline training and assessment requirements, are due to come into effect in August 2022.
The ESFA has issued draft rules to employers and providers and has asked for feedback. The deadline is Friday 24 June 2022.
Company cars: advisory fuel rates from Wednesday 1 June 2022
published revised advisory fuel rates for company cars which apply from Wednesday 1 June 2022. Trade union membership statistics for 2021 published
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has
published the 2021 national statistics on trade union membership using the Labour Force Survey to provide an estimate of the levels and density of trade union membership for all UK workers. The report includes estimates presented by gender, sector, age, industry, region, and occupation, and covers union presence and collective bargaining. New consultation on domestic violence statutory guidance
The Home Office has
launched a consultation regarding controlling or coercive behaviour statutory guidance. The guidance intends to provide information about what controlling or coercive behaviour is, when the offence applies and ways of reducing risk to the victim. While predominantly aimed at police and criminal justice agencies, the guidance may also be relevant to organisations who have a statutory duty to safeguard victims in the workplace. The consultation closes on Saturday 25 June 2022. Read more - June 2022
For general enquiries
0370 1500 100
Or we can call you back at a time of your choice
Request a call back
Phone lines are open 24/7, 365 days a year