The government is seeking public feedback on a number of work-related topics which may interest you
The Government is currently consulting on a range of different work-related proposals, a number of which stem from recommendations in the 2017 Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, which led to the government's own 2018 Good Work Plan.
Consultations are a useful way to provide feedback on particular topics and represent a real opportunity for individuals and organisations to provide working knowledge and practical experience on the issues the government is seeking to tackle.
The government has also recently published consultation outcomes on the use of NDAs and extending redundancy protections for women and new parents.
Good Work Plan-related consultations
1. Proposals to support families
Views are sought on government proposals to support parents to balance work and family life. This includes consultation on reforming existing entitlements to parental leave and pay, a proposed new neonatal leave and pay entitlement, and whether employers should have a duty to consider if a job can be done flexibly and make that clear when advertising a role. There is also exploration of a proposal to require employers with 250+ employees to publish their family-related leave and pay and flexible working policies.
Consultation regarding proposed parental leave and pay closes on 29 November 2019, the rest of the consultation closes early on 11 October 2019.
1. One-sided flexibility – addressing unfair flexible working practices
The government is seeking views on the Low Pay Commission's proposals of December 2018 to address the issue of 'one-sided flexibility'. This issue exists within some parts of the labour market were employers misuse flexible working arrangements, creating an unpredictability in working hours, income insecurity and a reluctance among workers to assert basic human rights. The consultation considers:
- providing a right to a reasonable notice of working hours
- providing workers with compensation for shifts cancelled without reasonable notice
- what guidance government can provide to support employers and encourage best practice to be shared across industries.
This consultation is open until 11 October 2019.
1. Establishing a new single enforcement body for employment rights
The government is consulting on options for establishing a single enforcement body and whether this could improve enforcement for vulnerable workers and create a level playing field for the majority of businesses complying with the law.
The consultation closes on 6 October 2019.
Health is everyone's business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss
This consultation looks at different ways in which the government and employers can take action to reduce ill health-related job loss. This includes disabled people and people with long-term health conditions, who are at greater risk of falling out of work.
Government proposals aim to support and encourage early action by employers for their employees with long-term health conditions and improve employer access to quality, cost-effective, occupational health services.
The Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care are keen to understand the effect of these proposals on:
- the occupational health profession
Consultation closes on 7 October 2019.
The government has recently published the following consultation outcomes.
1. The use of NDAs in workplace harassment or discrimination cases
The government has stated that it will:
- legislate so that no provision in a confidentiality clause can prevent disclosures to the police, regulated health and care professionals and legal professionals
- legislate so that limitations in confidentiality clauses are clearly set out in employment contracts and settlement agreements
- produce guidance for solicitors and legal professionals responsible for drafting settlement agreements
- legislate to enhance the independent legal advice received by individuals signing confidentiality clauses, and
- introduce enforcement measures for confidentiality clauses that do not comply with legal requirements in written statements of employment particulars and settlement agreements.
Wrigleys helped to coordinate a combined response to this consultation after discussing the consultation questions with clients who attended our April Employment Breakfast Briefing.
1. Redundancy protection for women and new parents
- to extend the redundancy protection period for 6 months once a new mother has returned to work
- to afford the same protection to those taking adoption leave, and
- to extend redundancy protection for those returning from shared parental leave.
The design of the protection for returning from shared parental leave shall be consulted on separately.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.