What will change in employment law in 2023?

January 11, 2023

By Rachel Ford-Evans

2023 is likely to be an eventful one for employment law, with lots of changes on the way. Our employment team have brought together all the key changes that you need to be aware of.

Flexible working rights to change

A bill, currently working its way through Parliament, is likely to introduce changes to an employee’s right to ask for flexible working. As it stands, employees must have been employed by their employer for at least 6 months before they can make a request for flexible working, and after that, an employee is restricted to one request for flexible working per year. However, the proposed changes would see employees being able to request flexible working from the very first day of their employment, and after that, they would be able to make two requests per year. Our detailed guide on the changes is here.

No more EU-derived laws 

Any EU laws that are still in place by the end of 2023 and are not replaced by any new UK laws before that date, will disappear forever. Many of our employment laws derive from EU legislation (e.g. the right to holiday, the rules around working time and rest breaks, protection for fixed term employees, protection for agency workers and TUPE). Therefore, the Government will need to replace these with new laws in 2023, or else they will disappear. We’re in for an eventful ride on this front!

Leave for carers

There is a proposal to give employees who have caring responsibilities (e.g. of a relative with a disability) the right to take one week’s unpaid leave each year to care for a dependant. The right will be available to them from the first day of their employment and the proposal is that they will be able to claim compensation if their employer unreasonably refuses their leave. This right is expected to come into force this year.

More protection after family leave

For employees on maternity leave (and also adoption or shared parental leave), these individuals could find themselves with additional protection from redundancy after they return to work. More on this change here. In addition to this, 2023 is likely to see the introduction of a right to neonatal leave for those parents whose babies have spent time in a neonatal care unit.

National living wage increases

In April this year, the national living wage will increase by around 10% (to £10.42) for all employee age groups. In addition, statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay will go up to £172.48 per week from April, and statutory sick pay will increase by around £10 to £109.40 per week.

Discrimination and Harassment

Under new proposals, the Government wants to see employers take more proactive (rather than reactive) steps to prevent any form of sexual harassment in the workplace. This is likely to see more employers looking to roll out training to staff and updates to policy documents to encourage more employees to speak out about forms of discrimination and harassment. In addition, further proposals are likely to make employers responsible for third party harassment (i.e. the harassment of a client or customer by one of its own employees).

If you need any help with navigating your way through employment law in 2023, please contact Rachel Ford-Evans on RFord-Evans@darwingray.com / 02920 829 120 for a free initial chat to see how we can help you.

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