It is expected that there will be a few changes to employment legislation in 2023 and these changes are largely delays to reforms to legislation that were expected in 2022.
Changes to the Flexible Working Request
The Government has confirmed its intention to make changes to the existing Flexible Working Request framework.
Under the new proposal, employees will have the right to make a request as a ‘day one’ right, rather than having to accumulate 26 weeks of service. Furthermore, the employee can make two requests in a 12 month period, rather than once a year. The time limit to respond, under the changes, will be reduced from two months to three months but the established eight business reasons upon which to reject a request remains.
However, it is worth remembering the legislation remains a right to request flexible working, not a right to have flexible working.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is to publish a consultation on guidance for monitoring at work
In autumn 2021, the ICO called for views to be put forward to help shape its new data protection and employment practices. This would replace its existing guidance which had not been updated since the introduction of the Data Protection Act 2018. The employment practices code would be replaced with an online hub of guidance covering all manner of employment issues. The deadline for this to be publicised is 11 January 2023.
The ICO is to publish a consultation on guidance on information about workers’ health
This is expected to be published on or around 26 January 2023. This is for the ICO to publish guidance on information about workers’ health which includes the collection and use of health data and how organisations collect and store this data. The ICO acknowledged that the nature, type and sharing of data have changed as a result of the Covid pandemic and it intends for the upcoming guidance to address the changes in data protection law since then.
Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill
, Solicitor at The Wilkes Partnership has recently submitted an article on the potential ramifications of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill from an employment law perspective. The article summarises areas of employment law that could see changes. This includes changes to TUPE Regulations, Working Time Regulations, Agency Worker Regulations and Discrimination to name but a few. The article can be read here
Leave for Carers
The Government has given its backing to the Carer’s Leave Bill. If introduced, the Bill will give a ‘day one right’ to a flexible one week’s unpaid leave per year for employees who are involved in caring for a dependent.
To qualify for the right, the employee must have caring responsibilities for a dependent whose caring needs are long-term (i.e. likely to last 3 months or longer) because of injury, disability, old age or other illnesses. Under current proposals, employees will be able to ‘self-certify’ their eligibility for carer’s leave meaning they will not need to provide evidence of how the leave is used or who it will be used for.