On September 11, 2023, labor unions and the California restaurant industry reached an agreement that promises to significantly impact the fast-food chains throughout California. This deal involves, among other things, raising the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 an hour and eliminating an industry-supported referendum scheduled for the 2024 ballot. The deal also
2023 looks set to be a year of significant change for HR professionals with the progression of new and reformed laws proposed and backed last year. Here are some of the key legislative/policy developments to watch out for:
Flexible working – Changes to the statutory flexible working regime are expected. The new rules will extend the right to request flexible working to all employees from day one of employment. Employees will be allowed to make two requests in a 12-month period (rather than the current limit of one) and employers will have less time to respond (two months, not three). For more information, see our previous Employment Law Watch blog.
Carer’s leave – A new statutory right for carers to take a week’s unpaid leave per year is proposed. The leave is intended to be used to take planned time off (rather than emergency leave) to undertake caring responsibilities.
Neonatal leave and pay – A new statutory leave is proposed which will allow parents of sick or premature babies to take up to 12 weeks’ paid leave on top of any maternity or paternity leave entitlement. The leave is proposed to be a day one right for new hires and to apply to those parents whose babies need to be in hospital in the first 28 days post birth with continuous stays of seven days or more. Continue Reading 2023 – All change for UK employment law?
Despite resolving to close an exploited loophole on ferry worker pay, the government has stopped short of an amendment to UK national minimum wage legislation.
In October 2020, legislative changes extended the minimum wage to most seafarers working on ships in UK waters, regardless of where a ship was registered, but those working on ferries (other than between UK ports) were not included, leaving scope for operators to hire crew on international routes on hourly rates below the UK minimums. In the absence of reasonable minimum wages, ferry operators can gain a competitive advantage by driving down wage levels.
Recent events have drawn attention to this practice, and in an announcement this week, the Transport Secretary set out the government’s plan to address some of the pay issues in response to this.
While recognising that a minimum floor is needed to prevent the competitive driving down of wages, and to ensure appropriate and fair levels of pay for ferry workers, the reality of pay arrangements across international borders is not straightforward.
Continue Reading Ferry workers’ pay is still at sea
Following the unexpected victory by the Conservatives in the UK general election on 7 May, the Government has announced its programme for the next session of Parliament. Amongst its proposals, the Government is proposing new laws regulating the ability to take lawful strike action.
The new proposals will require a 50% voter turnout threshold in strike ballots, while retaining the condition that a simple majority of those votes must be in favour of industrial action.
Additionally, the new proposals will require that 40% of those entitled to vote must vote in favour of industrial action in certain essential public services (health, education, fire and transport). The Bill will also introduce time limits on a mandate following a ballot for industrial action. The Conservatives proposed in their manifesto that employers would be allowed to use agency workers to cover for striking employees. No mention of this proposal was made in the Queen’s Speech, so we will have to wait for the Bill to be published before we see if this proposal becomes reality.Continue Reading UK Government reveals new legislative programme – Implications for employment law
The sun may have finally decided to make an appearance but this is no indication of a relaxing summer break for employment specialists!
A number of key employment law provisions came into force on 25 June 2013, with 29 July 2013 as the next key date for legislative reform. We take a look at what employment-related legislative changes are in store this summer.Continue Reading UK Legislative Reform – No Summer Break
Employers are becoming more aware of the impact of Facebook and the type of information it can reveal. Some employers use Facebook to find background or character information about their employees or job applicants. Other employers use Facebook to find out whether employees have disclosed information about the employer’s business. Some employers are taking it a step further by requesting that job applicants and/or current employees disclose their Facebook user name and password. Other employers are asking applicants and/or employees to "friend" its human resource manager or log into a company computer during interviews to view their Facebook content.
This post was also written by Fiona McFarlane.
It is that time of year again when the UK Government brings into force legislative changes relating to employment law. In this update we highlight the changes taking place in April 2012 and consider the impact these might have for employers.Continue Reading What’s Coming Up in UK Employment Law in April?
The Government has recently issued a new “Call for Evidence”, Dealing with dismissal and “Compensated no fault dismissal” for micro businesses. The main aim of the paper is to gather evidence from businesses to establish what can be done to encourage small employers to recruit more employees, whilst at the same time ensuring some protection for employee rights. The paper also aims to gather evidence regarding the dismissal process, and in particular how well the 2009 Acas Code works in the case of dismissals for underperformance. Continue Reading Dealing with dismissal and compensated no fault dismissal for micro businesses
UK employment lawyers and HR professionals need to be on the alert this year to keep up with the numerous consultations and proposals which have been or are expected to be initiated by the Government. The key developments this year will be the increase in April in the qualifying period for unfair dismissal rights from one to two years and, in October, the introduction of the new pensions auto-enrolment rules but more is in the pipeline. Continue Reading What’s coming up in UK employment law in 2012?
The Government has today announced what it describes as “the most radical reform to the employment law system for decades”. In a speech to EEF, the UK manufacturers’ organisation, Vince Cable outlined the results of the Government’s recent consultation on Resolving Workplace Disputes and the recent Red Tape Challenge Review of employment law.