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Kerry Eastman

HR Advisor - Uckfield

19th April 2022

Employment Team Newsletter – HR Update

Employment Team Newsletter – HR Update

Our latest Employment Team Newsletter features an overview of employment law updates and changes.

1          COVID-19 & Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) – 24 March 2022

As a reminder, from 24 March 2022, employees absent from work due to the effects of COVID-19 are no longer entitled to payment of SSP from day one of their sickness absence. They are entitled to payment of SSP from the fourth day of absence (in line with the previous SSP regime).

NB: with effect from 6 April 2022, SSP will increase to £99.35 per week.

2          Fit Notes – 6 April 2022

From 6 April 2022, Fit Notes provided by GPs will no longer contain a signature box. This means there will be no requirement for a Fit Note to be signed. This Regulation comes following increasing demand for fit notes to be provided digitally.

3          Flexible Working Bill – Reading Date 6 May 2022

In 2021, MP Tulip Siqqiq, proposed a new Bill to give employees the right to request flexible working from day one of employment. See our article on this topic: https://www.rixandkay.co.uk/2021/08/10/flexible-working-bill-what-is-it/ 

Update: The Bill is scheduled to be read for a second time on Friday, 6 May 2022 (previously 19 November 2021).

4          Statutory Code of Practice, Fire & Rehire – TBC

Following the inappropriate actions of P&O Ferries, the Government announced its intention to develop a new Statutory Code of Practice which will clarify and expect employers to act fairly and reasonably when seeking to change employee terms and conditions.

The decision comes after P&O Ferries, a shipping company, fired 800 workers without notice and attempted to rehire them on less favorable terms. Employers must recognise that this approach creates high risk of legal claims, reputational damage and an adverse effect on employee relations.

5          Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – 2022 (TBC)

Following consultation in 2021, the Government announced its intention to strengthen the protections against sexual harassment in the workplace. Specifically, it promises to legislate to:

  • introduce a specific duty on employers to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment; and
  • create explicit protections for employees from harassment by third parties (e.g. suppliers and customers).

The Government are also reviewing the current time limits for bringing harassment-related claims in the Employment Tribunal.  The current 3-month limit could be increased.

Keep up to date here: https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3018

Contact us

Do you need support or advice on employment law? The GatekeeperHR team is here to help. GatekeeperHR is a fixed cost, employment law and HR retainer service which provides businesses with access to a dedicated team of experienced lawyers and HR professionals who you can speak to, or meet face-to-face, at any time. The service includes a full HR compliance audit, access to an online portal full of valuable employment law and HR resources and an annual training session on topics of your choosing. To find out more about GatekeeperHR, please visit: www.gatekeeperhr.co.uk or contact us

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