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Employment

Oh No, Not Another One?

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Friday, November 11, 2022

A turbulent time for UK politics has led to the reversal of the “mini” budget and the appointment of Rishi Sunak as the new Prime Minister.

We look at how that impacts employment legislation.

On 17th October the chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced the official reversal of the majority of measures Kwasi Kwarteng had announced under the Truss governments first moves to reset the economy.  As we all know those plans spectacularly backfired on the Truss administration leading to the pound plummeting against the dollar and the cost of government borrowing rising due to fears of the likely impact of the execution of the proposals .

The primary changes for HR departments

IR35: Despite hopes that IR35 rules would revert to a permit contractor to retain responsibility for validating their tax position the chancellor cancelled the scrapping of the reforms. The result is that public sector and medium/ large private sector firms will still have the responsibility for assessing the tax liability and employment status of any “off payroll” work.

Strike action reform: The wheels are literally in motion for legislation to be in place ensuring a minimum level of transport service to be in place to avoid chaotic disruption, often the result of transport worker’s industrial action. Transport Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill seeks to identify those organisations who will be required to engage with unions to establish the minimum level of service keeping services running.  A schedule of core workers responsible for keeping the service open should be agreed.  Those same workers should not be encouraged to take industrial action, if such action occurs, and the union has not taken appropriate steps, the employer can issue a claim for damages.

Bankers’ bonus cap: One of the few survivors of the “mini budget” was the scrapping of the cap on bankers bonuses.

Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022-23

This Bill was debated at second reading on Tuesday 25 October 2022 and has now been sent to a Public Bill Committee which will scrutinise the Bill line by line and is expected to report to the House by Thursday 22 November 2022.

If passed December 2023 would see the sun-setting on almost all EU secondary legislation.

With reference to employment law:

  • Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE),
  • Collective redundancy consultation
  • Working time rules including holiday pay.

At the time of writing, we note that the current administration may well be reviewing the Bill not least its timescales due to the considerable workload and civil service resources involved in making such wholesale changes to longstanding and well-established legislation.

Investment Zones:  Levelling up minister Michael Gove is currently reviewing the Investment Zone proposals but has already stated that anything relating to a weakening of environmental legislation would be “off the table”.  The Investment Zones aimed to benefit 38 local authority regions via a variety of tax incentives, regulatory innovations and planning flexibilities within specific site boundaries.

If you would like advice or assistance please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and supportive Employment Law team on 0191 232 8451 or email employmentdepartment@samuelphillips.co.uk 

 

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