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Further Employment Law reforms

In addition to overhauling the Employment Tribunal system, the Government is looking to introduce new provisions to other areas of employment law.

Flexible Working

The right to request flexible working may be extended to include all employees who have at least 26 weeks continuous service – whether or not they have children or dependants.

Flexible parental leave will see the mother being entitled to 18 weeks maternity leave which may be followed by a 34 week period of flexible parental leave which can be shared by the mother and father. Entitlements to statutory payments may also change.

These are proposals for the time being and there are no timescales for implementation at present.

Protected Conversations

The ‘off the record discussion’ may no longer be such a difficult subject under proposals to permit employers to have protected conversations with their employees. Employers will be able to address specific concerns with employees– safe in the knowledge that those conversations will not then be recounted in the Employment Tribunal or Court.

Opponents of the proposal say that the concept of protected conversations will be abused by employers. Supporters say that protected conversations will act as a nudge to employers to have sensible conversations about performance or conduct issues (to give two examples) where they may have felt unable to do so before.

Simplifying Compromise Agreements

There are moves to ‘simplify’ Compromise Agreements which, it is argued, have become too long and too complex. It will be interesting to see if anyone can come up with a ‘one size fits all’ agreement given the matters which typically form part of most compromise situations.

For further information contact Nick Wilson at our Wakefield office on 01924 669157