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Government plans for employment law survive ‘wash-up’

As a result of the General Election campaign, Parliament was dissolved at the end of last week.  On dissolution of Parliament, any unfinished business is lost unless it is saved during the ‘wash-up period’.  Now that ‘wash-up’ has concluded, we can confirm that paternity bereavement leave and both the allocation of tips and fire and rehire codes of practice have been saved. 

Paternity bereavement leave

The Paternity Leave (Bereavement) Act 2024 (‘the Act’) received Royal Assent on 24 May 2024 and is expected to come into force in April 2025.

The Act will provide bereaved fathers and partners with a day-one right to take up to 52 weeks’ leave during the first year of their child’s life, from the day on which the mother or primary adopter of the child has died.

Allocation of tips

Under the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 (‘the Tipping Act’), which is expected to come into force on 1 October 2024, employers will have a duty to ensure that all qualifying tips are ‘allocated fairly’ to workers and make payment in full no later than the end of the month following the month in which the qualifying tip was paid by the customer. Alternatively, if it is fair to do so, the employer may pay the tips over to an ‘independent tronc operator’ who will allocate them to workers.

The House of Lords approved the statutory Code of Practice on the fair and transparent distribution of tips on 24 May 2024.

Commencement regulations are now needed to bring the code of practice, and the remaining provisions of the Tipping Act, into force

Fire and rehire code of practice

The statutory code of practice on dismissal and re-engagement (‘the Code’), known as fire and rehire, will come into force on 18 July 2024. 

The Code sets out a process for an employer to follow where it is considering making changes to one or more of its employees’ contracts of employment, and it envisages that, if the changes cannot be agreed, it might opt for dismissal and re-engagement.

An employment tribunal will have the power to apply an uplift of up to 25% of an employee’s compensation if an employer ‘unreasonably fails’ to follow the Code.

It is possible that a new government could repeal the Code and related legislation after the general election on 4 July.  If elected to power, Labour has committed to ending the practice of fire and rehire and replacing the Code with a strengthened code of practice.

If you require any advice in relation to the above, please contact a member of the AfterAthena team.