More Employment Law Changes on the Horizon

New rights derived from three Government backed cross party bills were given Royal Assent towards the end of last month.

Whilst Royal Assent has been given, they are not law yet.  The Government have said they will lay down secondary legislation in due course to implement these new entitlements. 

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act

(The Bill was introduced by Dan Jarvis MP)

Employers are currently under an obligation to offer employees on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave suitable alternative employment (if possible) as a priority over other employees that have been provisionally selected for redundancy. 

This Act extends existing redundancy protection to cover any period of pregnancy (including miscarriage) and for a period of six months after the employee returns to work from a period of family leave including maternity leave, adoption leave and shared parental leave. 

The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act

(This Bill was introduced by Stuart C. McDonald MP)

This Act creates a day one right to enable parents to take a period of up to 12 weeks’ paid neonatal care leave if their baby is required to spend time in neonatal care. This period of neonatal leave will be in addition to maternity, paternity or shared parental leave. 

Neonatal care leave will be available to employees in the event their child aged no more than 28 days is admitted to hospital for a continuous stay of seven full days or more. 

Neonatal care leave will be paid subject to the employee meeting the following conditions:

  • 26 weeks’ continuous employment
  • A minimum weekly wage of £123

The Carer’s Leave Act

(This Bill was introduced by Wendy Chamberlain MP)

The Act provides eligible employees, from the first day of employment, who are also long-term carers and responsible for dependants, the opportunity to take up to one week (five working days) of unpaid leave a year to provide or arrange care for a dependant with long-term care needs. 

The employee will be required to give notice twice the length of the leave. The leave can be taken flexibly in the form of half days, single days or a one-week block over a 12-month period. 

An employee’s dependants include the following:

  • Husband, wife, civil partner, or partner.
  • Child.
  • Parent.
  • A person who lives in their household (but not tenants, lodgers or employees);
  • A person who relies on them, (e.g., an elderly neighbour).

We will let you know when the above Acts are implemented.

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