2022 Employment Law Changes to Bear in Mind
The year 2022 has been another busy one in the field of employment law, and as the year comes to a close, our Employment Law team takes a peek into the future to see what sorts of changes employers can expect as 2022 ends. Many of these modifications have been suggested by the public and are likely to be included in an upcoming Employment Bill when the government holds a public consultation.
Laws governing contributions and tips
The government has signaled its intention to introduce new legislation to protect workers’ access to gratuities. This decision was reached after a public outcry and accusations that some businesses were keeping customers’ tips and gratuities even when they paid with plastic.
Employers may no longer legally withhold tips from employees under the new rules. Instead, within a month of receiving a tip, employers must give the money to their employees minus any mandatory withholdings. In addition, businesses would need to comply with these regulations:
The establishment must follow the new code of practice established by law for tipping, including establishing a written policy on tipping and maintaining a record of tip distribution.
Employers violating the new regulations may be fined, and employees may file a lawsuit with the Employment Tribunal.
2022: New laws against sexual harassment take effect
The government’s plans to implement additional protection against third-party harassment in the workplace and impose a proactive duty on employers to eradicate sexual harassment in the workplace were laid out in proposals released in July. For example, employers would be responsible for the actions of visitors to the workplace, including suppliers and customers, and would be expected to take “all reasonable precautions” to prevent sexual harassment. In addition, the government intends to issue a new statutory code of practice and accompanying guidance for businesses to help them fulfil this further obligation.
New legal provision for caregiver leave
Employees who provide care for family members or friends voluntarily may be granted the facility to take five days of unpaid leave each year beginning in 2022. Employees would be entitled to this benefit from the very first day they are hired, and they might use the time off to care for someone they are responsible for, go to appointments, or make other care arrangements.
Maternity Benefits for Working Mothers
In 2022, mandatory maternity leave for parents of newborns in need of special care may be another type of leave that companies plan to offer. The expected amount of leave will be one week for each week that the newborn requires neonatal care, with a maximum of 12 weeks. This time off will be compensated, and parents will receive an annualized statutory compensation rate.
Workplace flexibility is a legal right.
The government is considering potentially in making flexible work arrangements the de facto standard, with requests for such arrangements being accepted from the first day of employment. It is intended that the new rules will spur dialogue between businesses and workers about creating mutually beneficial schedules. Still, employers can turn down requests for more flexible schedules, but only for those specified by law in the Employment Rights Act (which will also be reviewed to determine if they are still relevant).