Employment and Immigration Law Update – Quick fire November 2019
26 November 2019
New guidance from Acas to help employers support those affected by menopause symptoms and a summary of the 2019 Election law proposals are included in this November’s Quick fire.
Acas: new menopause guidance
To coincide with World Menopause Day on 18 October, Acas has published new guidance intended to help employers and managers support those affected by menopause symptoms in the workplace.
It is estimated that around two million women aged over 50 experience difficulties at work due to their menopause symptoms causing them to feel ill, lose confidence in doing their job, or making them feel stressed, anxious or depressed.
The guidance includes the following top tips:
- create and implement a menopause policy
- provide awareness training for managers to deal with any concerns in a sensitive way
- create an open culture of trust within the team
- make changes where possible, such as altering working hours
- implement low-cost environmental changes such as providing desk fans
- boost awareness of employment laws that relate to menopause issues at work, such as the risk of sex, disability or age discrimination
Employment law proposals made by the main political parties so far, ahead of the General Election on 12 December include:
- Increase the National Living Wage to £10.50 by 2024 and extend it to every worker over the age of 21.
- Require employers to pass on all tips and service charges to workers (included in the Queen’s Speech).
- Implementing the Government’s Good Work Plan on worker rights, which includes proposals to address one-sided flexibility in worker contracts and introducing a single enforcement body for employment rights.
A very wide-ranging list of proposals, heralded as the “biggest extension of employment rights in history”.
- “Giving everyone full rights from day one on the job” (unspecified).
- Introducing a single status of ‘worker’ for all other than the genuinely self-employed.
- Giving all workers the right to flexible working.
- Introducing four new bank holidays.
- Reducing the average full-time weekly working hours to 32 and setting up an independent Working Time Commission.
- Strengthening unfair dismissal and whistleblowing protections, with extra protections for pregnant women, those going through the menopause and terminally ill workers.
- Introducing a statutory real living wage of £10 per hour by 2020 for all workers over 16.
- A ban on unpaid internships and zero hours contracts, and introducing a right to regular hours after 12 weeks of service.
- An increase in the period of statutory maternity pay from nine to 12 months, doubling paternity leave from two to four weeks and increasing statutory paternity pay.
- Establishing a new Workers’ Protection Agency, to ensure workplace rights.
- Requiring large companies to set up Inclusive Ownership Funds (IOFs), where up to 10% of a company will be in collective ownership by employees.
- Introducing sectoral collective bargaining to agree legal minimum standards on issues such as pay and hours of work.
- Establishing an independent review to consult on how to set a genuine Living Wage across all sectors.
- Establishing a new Worker Protection Enforcement Authority to protect those in precarious work.
- Make flexible working open to all from day one in the job.
- Modernise employment rights, including a new ‘dependent contractor’ employment status with minimum earnings levels, sick pay and holiday entitlement, and shifting the burden of proof in relation to employment status from the individual to the employer.
- A right for zero hours and agency workers to request fixed hours after 12 months.
- Increase statutory paternity leave from two weeks to six weeks and making parental leave a day-one right.
- Requiring organisations to publish parental leave and pay policies.
- Requiring companies with 250 or more employees to monitor and publish data on pay gaps and employment levels in relation to gender, race and sexual orientation.
- The introduction of a £10,000 “skills-wallet” for every adult to spend on education and training during their lifetime.
This article is from the November 2019 issue of Employment and Immigration Law Update, our monthly newsletter for HR professionals. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website. The content of this article is for general information only. For further information please contact Liz Stevens or another member of Birketts’ Employment Law Team.
The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at November 2019.