There has been a continued rise in Employment Tribunal claims.  Between July and September 2019, the number of single claims received by the Tribunal increased by 38%.

On 19 December 2019, it was announced in the Queen’s speech that the Government is proposing a new Employment Bill, which will include, amongst other things:

  • extending the period of redundancy protection from the point an employee notifies their employer of their pregnancy (whether orally or in writing) until six months after the end of their maternity leave.  Currently employees are only protected until the end of their maternity leave;
  • introducing a new right to neonatal leave and pay to support parents with sick or premature babies; and
  • making flexible working the default position unless an employer has a good reason not to do so.  The details are unclear but plans could go further than the proposals currently under consultation.  For example, employers could be required to say if flexible working is available in job adverts and publish their flexible working policies.

Watch this space to see whether any of these proposals are implemented in practice.

From April 2020:

  • all employees and workers will be entitled to receive a written statement of particulars from day one of their employment or engagement.  Currently, employers are only required to provide employees with a written statement after the first two months of employment.  It would, therefore, be prudent for employers to ensure that their employment contracts are reviewed and updated ready for April 2020; and

a new right to 2 weeks’ paid bereavement leave for parents who lose a child under the age of 18 comes into force.  In readiness, employers should review their policies and amend these as necessary to reflect the new right.