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Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business. Plus get up-to-the-minute commentaries on all things HR and legal.
On February 2nd 2023, these are the top employment law stories for you:
Government clampdown on ‘fire-rehire’ policy
The government recently published a draft and opened talks about fire-rehire conduct. If it passes, the consultation stage, it will take stronger action against employers who use fire-rehire tactics.
Employers who don’t follow the new code could see a 25% uplift in the compensation they have to give if their employee’s claim is successful in court. Whilst it won’t prevent employers from firing and rehiring altogether, it will take stronger actions against employers who fail to negotiate with affected employees.
Is dismissal and re-engagement an unlawful practice? Ask BrightHR Lightning.
Menopause protections rejected
In response to a report by the Women and Equalities Committee on menopause in the workplace, the government has rejected the introduction of menopause as a standalone protected characteristic.
They also rejected five of the committee’s proposals, which means there will be no trial of menopause leave or a government-designed menopause policy.
Their decision was also a no on passing s14 of the Equality Act 2010—which would have allowed employees to raise dual discrimination claims.
Even though the government has decided that having a menopause policy won’t be legally required—they are encouraging employers to show they care about the condition. Support your staff with an expertly-written menopause policy.
Mental Health First Aid Bill
A new Bill aims to make offering mental health first aid training a legal requirement for employers. A similar Bill was rejected in 2021. Since it’s too soon to tell the outcome of this Bill, make sure you stay plugged into the latest updates from us!
Employees stay quiet about…
Their disabilities. A survey by YouGov found only 22% of employees would mention their disability during the recruitment process. And a high percentage think their disability would put them at a disadvantage to getting the job. To help change this trend, employers should review their recruitment strategy to ensure it is accessible and inclusive.
What are your responsibilities as an employer when recruiting disabled employees? Find out here.
Longer working hours for foreign students
Ministers are considering plans to extend working hours for foreign students. Currently, those on a student visa can only work 20 hours per week during term time. But there have been proposals to either extend it to 30 hours—or remove the cap completely. So, make sure you’re tracking contracted hours correctly.
And that’s a wrap. Tune in next week for more headlines and make sure you stay ahead of major employment law changes!