As the UK continues to move forward through this uncharted territory, we wonder what Brexit will mean for business and anticipate more HR-related questions.
Having reviewed all of the advice from the CIPD, the professional body for human resource and people development, here is our summary of what they are advising:
EU Nationals currently living and working in the UK, who wish to remain, will have until 30th June 2021 to apply for settled status. The settled status scheme will give eligible EU nationals the right to remain in the UK indefinitely, which should reassure organisations with a considerable number of EU workers that Brexit will not immediately limit their access to overseas staff.
The Conservative Government’s plans for a ‘points-based’ immigration system may create uncertainty for your organisation if you are planning to hire foreign nationals for low skilled-work, especially as freedom of movement will come to an end. Since the Conservatives have insisted that greater priority will be given to highly skilled job seekers with desirable qualifications, organisations in industries such as agriculture, retail and hospitality may find their access to job-seekers restricted.
Minimum wage (NMW) rates, the Conservatives have pledged to increase the National Living Wage to £10.50 an hour by 2024, whilst also lowering the age threshold to 23 and over by 2021 and 21 and over by 2024. In truth, this increase is not as drastic as it may appear, given that NMW rates have continued to increase incrementally each year. However, the changes to the age barriers will still represent a significant increase for younger workers.
Working parents are set to experience an increase in employment rights if the Conservatives follow through with their pledge to introduce neo-natal leave, which will essentially extend maternity and paternity leave for those whose children require a prolonged period in hospital immediately after birth. There are also plans to provide pregnant women and new parents with extra protection during redundancy procedures. Individuals who juggle work and unpaid care commitments are set to receive the right to a week off work in recognition of the strain placed upon them, however, little has been confirmed of how this will apply in practice.
Flexible working is set to become the ‘default arrangement’ for available positions unless organisations have good reasons not to offer this.
The Conservative victory also assures us that the changes announced as part of 2018’s Good Work plan will go ahead, which includes plans for zero-hours workers, and others with variable working patterns, to be given the right to request a more stable contract. In addition, there are also commitments to review the employment status framework in order to add more clarity for organisations, whilst also making it easier for ad hoc employees to accrue continuous service.
A new £3bn National Skills Fund has also been promised, which is likely to be positive news for organisations in key industries such as construction and engineering, that often bemoan the lack of relevant qualifications amongst job applicants.
As part of a commitment to make the UK the ‘best place in the world to work’, the Conservatives intend to introduce a single enforcement body which should make it more difficult for organisations to avoid penalties for employment law breaches.
For smooth transition following Brexit, the Government introduces legislation to ensure that employment laws continue to operate effectively on the day the UK leaves the EU, making minor technical changes, including amending and removing inappropriate language and references. You can read our full update on employment law changes for 2020.
If you feel unsure of how you are impacted by the latest Employment Law Updates for 2020, please feel free to contact us for advice and support. We can help you make sense of it all and take the appropriate actions to ensure you are compliant with the latest updates to the law. Request a conversation.
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