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  • HR Heartbeat: Holiday and sick pay changes, the King’s first speech and…

HR Heartbeat: Holiday and sick pay changes, the King’s first speech and…

Read this week’s HR Heartbeat and learn about upcoming employment changes, the new TUPE consultation and more.

First published on Wednesday, Nov 15, 2023

Last updated on Wednesday, Nov 15, 2023

4 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business, plus get up-to-the-minute commentaries on all things HR and legal.

Roll up, roll up NEW rolled up holiday pay!

The Government has confirmed its planned changes to holiday pay.

Here are the highlights:

  • Rolled up holiday pay will once again become legal, but only for irregular-hours workers like zero hours workers, and part year workers.
  • Leave for irregular hours and part-year workers will be calculated with an accrual method, based on 12.07% of hours worked, in the pay period.
  • The position will be “restated” on carry over of annual leave when a worker has been on sick leave or maternity and family related leave.
  • Plus, the emergency rule, introduced during the Pandemic, that workers could carry over 4 weeks of leave into the next 2 years will be removed.

Bear in mind laws need to be made first, are subject to change, and there are no firm dates yet as to when these will take effect.

For simplified advice in a flash, ask BrightLightning: What is rolled up holiday pay?

TUPE consultation and record-keeping changes

The Government has also announced there will be changes to TUPE consultation.

Small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) doing a transfer of any size, and businesses of any size doing a transfer of fewer than 10 employees will be able to consult directly with employees, where there are no existing worker reps, instead of having to elect reps.

The law will also be clarified when it comes to record keeping so that only records of weekly working time are needed.

Again, we’ll have to wait for new laws so there are no confirmed dates for these changes just yet.

Could the Government cough up more for Statutory Sick Pay?

The Government has launched a call for evidence into the effectiveness of SSP. It will look at whether the current level, £109.40 a week, is enough, or whether there should be a higher rate of pay but over a shorter time. The call for evidence will run until Friday 8 December 2023.

It will also consider whether SSP should be extended to include those earning below the lower earnings limit and whether payment from the fourth qualifying day should be changed or removed.

Another area that’s being looked at is how the Government can support small and medium-sized businesses to help staff return to work after being away on sick leave.

Mind the gender pay gap!

The Office for National Statistics has published the latest gender pay gap results. For 2023, the gender pay gap for all employees is 14.3%, as opposed to 14.4% in 2022.

For full-time employees it’s 7.7%, up from 7.6% in 2022; and for part-time employees, it’s negative 3.3%, the same as last year.

It has been declining slowly over time, but progress still needs to be made.

All employers with at least 250 employees have to produce a gender pay gap report. But this doesn’t mean smaller companies are off the hook…

There are many ways organisations of all sizes can help work towards closing workplace gender disparities—including promoting equal pay, creating a gender-balanced workforce, combating gender bias —and ensuring equal rights and opportunities for all employees. Read more advice on gender and equality at work here.

The King’s Speech—move over Colin Firth

On 7 November 2023, King Charles delivered his first King’s Speech as part of the State Opening of Parliament.

This is when the Government outlines its priorities for the year ahead. While it detailed 21 laws that ministers intend to pass in the next session of Parliament, it was fairly quiet on the employment law front…

There was, however, mention of helping businesses fund new jobs and investments, increasing apprenticeships, and supporting more people into work.

And that’s a wrap. Tune in next week for more headlines and make sure you stay ahead of major employment law changes!

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