The April 2022 gender pay reporting deadline has been and gone, and reports are in. But around 10% of employers still haven’t reported or were late to do so. Here are our thoughts…
Missing the deadline – The Equality and Human Rights Commission (the enforcement body) is yet to issue a fine so it seems that the ‘late report’ badge and naming and shaming are not enough to change the behaviour of those businesses who fail to comply.
Why bother – one of the most interesting stats from the reporting is the number of women (or not as the case may be) in the upper quartile (highest paid roles). Overall, there has been a drop in the number of businesses that have increased female representation at the highest level. With recruitment being such a challenge, stats showing that women don’t make it into your top roles may not be helping.
Bigger picture – most businesses are grappling with a tough recruitment market and the stats in gender pay reports could well be adding fuel to the fire and giving prospective candidates an excuse not to join! Stagnant year-on-year data shows little commitment to progress and late reporting (or not reporting at all) shows that compliance isn’t taken seriously.
This update is accurate on the date it was sent (05 May 2022), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
The government has once again postponed the Employment Bill meaning day-one flexible working and changes to carer’s leave (along with a host of other proposals) will be further delayed.
The Employment Bill included the following proposals – all of which are now delayed indefinitely:
Flexible working – the right to request flexible working arrangements without any qualifying service (currently 26 weeks).
Carer’s leave – a new ‘day-one’ right for unpaid carers to take up to five working days of unpaid leave per year from their usual employment. Employers would not be entitled to deny a request for a carer’s leave, only postpone in specific circumstances.
Neonatal care leave – providing up to 12 weeks’ paid leave for parents of babies requiring neonatal care.
Pregnancy and maternity discrimination – extending redundancy protection from the point the employee notifies their employer of their pregnancy until six months after the end of their maternity leave.
Tips – all tips and services charges were to be passed onto workers in full on a fair and transparent basis.
Predictable working arrangements – a new right for all workers to request a more predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks’ service.
There’s nothing stopping you from implementing some of these ideas despite the government’s delay. In a challenging recruitment market, employee benefits setting you apart from competitors can only help to secure the best individuals.
This update is accurate on the date it was sent (04 May 2022), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
If you’re looking to make changes to employment contracts and an employee refuses those changes, one approach you can take is to terminate their employment and rehire them on the new terms. A new statutory code of practice is to be introduced (date to be confirmed) providing greater governance over this approach.
What will the new code mean in practice? The detail is yet to be announced – all the government have said is that the intention is to provide practical steps for employers to follow to ensure they engage in meaningful consultation when changing terms and conditions are changed. If employers fail to follow the code tribunals will have more clout when issuing compensation. This will mean:
Tribunals will need to take into account whether an employer has followed the code and employers should be ready to evidence that they have done so; and
Tribunals may apply a 25% uplift in compensation if an employer unreasonably fails to comply with the code.
The new code will not be an outright ban on the use of ‘fire and rehire’ meaning it will remain an option for employers to change contractual terms where voluntary agreement is not possible or there is no other alternative.
There’s always lots to consider when making changes to contracts – getting the right advice can help to minimise as much risk as possible. Get in touch for our support.
This update is accurate on the date it was sent (03 May 2022), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.