Our monthly employment law round up.
UK Government launches consultation on disability workforce reporting
A consultation has been launched by the UK Government aiming to explore disability workforce reporting for larger employers with 250 or more employees. The consultation looks at both mandatory and voluntary reporting. The focus of the mandatory reporting is data showing the proportion of employees in a workforce that identify as disabled but respondents are also asked what, if any, other statistic could be reported alongside or instead of this.
Scottish Government to have "meaningful discussions" on right to disconnect
The Scottish Government have pledged to look at introducing a right to disconnect for Scottish Government employees and those in devolved agencies, saying it was "an opportunity for all public sector employers to consider how, where and when work is defined and delivered and the impact on the wellbeing of the workforce." A similar right has been introduced in a number of other European countries including France, Portugal and Ireland.
Proposed increases to family friendly allowances and SSP announced
The proposed increases to family friendly allowances and statutory sick pay have been announced by the Department for Work and Pensions. The rates are expected to apply from early April 2022. Statutory sick pay is to increase from £96.35 to £99.35 per week. Family friendly allowances (including statutory maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption pay) will increase from £151.97 to £156.66 per week.
CIPD calls for SSP to match NMW
The CIPD have published a new report, What should an effective sick pay system look like? calling for statutory sick pay (SSP) to be raised to at least the equivalent of the national minimum wage. The report included a survey of over 1000 employers, and 62% of them also felt the current level of SSP (£96.35 per week, due to increase to £99.35 in April 2022) was too low.
Refusal to accommodate flexible working requests costs businesses £2bn a year
A report commissioned jointly by Sir Robert McAlpine and flexible working campaigner Mother Pukka has quantified the costs of refusing flexible working applications at almost £2 billion a year. This stems from boosted productivity and lower employee absence caused by the positive impact flexible working has on employee morale. The report calls on the UK Government to do more to communicate the benefits of flexible working to employers and to ensure that job adverts are clear about flexible working opportunities.
CIPD publish practical guidance on hybrid working
New guidance commissioned by the CIPD on behalf of the UK Government's flexible working taskforce has been published. The guidance provides practical advice on implementing hybrid working and reminding employers that they will need to continue to develop their approach as this type of working evolves.
Nearly a quarter of business leaders unlikely to hire disabled workers
A study released by a global recruitment company has revealed that 22% of the business leaders polled were unlikely to hire disabled workers. This was despite the polling taking place during periods of candidate shortages. The poll suggests that barriers to recruitment of people with disabilities include concerns around (1) the costs of modifying equipment and (2) legal proceedings if the hires don't work out and also a perception that disabled people may lack the right skills.
Employers urged to stop asking about previous salary
The Fawcett society is urging employers to stop asking about salary history as the practice contributes to pay inequality by replicating gaps from other organisations. More than half of job applicants think they have been offered a lower salary as a consequence of being asked this question.
Sixty percent of employees would switch jobs for better parental leave policies
A survey by Virgin Money which included employees and 3000 members of the public has found that better parental leave would drive 6 in 10 parents or expectant parents to switch jobs. 58% of respondents also believed they would miss out on promotions while taking maternity or paternity leave, with over half being afraid of losing their jobs.
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