Wash Up Provisions – Forthcoming changes

Fiona Gorry
Fiona Gorry
Head of Litigation
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As thoughts and focus now turn to party campaigning in advance of July’s general election, it is worth bearing in mind that during the wash up period prior to the prorogation of Parliament, the following updates were made-

The Paternity Leave (Bereavement) Act 2024 

The Paternity Leave (Bereavement) Act 2024 received Royal Assent on 24 May 2024. The Act will apply in the unfortunate event that a mother or adoptive parent passes away in the first year after a child is born or adopted. In these circumstances, the father, or the partner of the adoptive parent, will automatically qualify for two weeks of paternity leave, regardless of how long they have worked with their employer.

This disapplies the usual 26 week qualifying period that is needed for a biological father, or the partner of an adoptive parent, to be eligible to take paternity leave.

Regulations will be required to bring this Act into force. We will keep a close eye on this and will update you when there are further developments.

Fair and transparent distribution of tips

The House of Lords approved the draft statutory Code of Practice on the fair and transparent distribution of tips on 24 May 2024. This will complement the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023.

The effect of both the Act and the Code of Practice will be to place a duty on employers to ensure that all qualifying tips, gratuities and service charges are allocated fairly to workers and to make payment in full no later than the end of the month after the month in which the tip was paid by the customer.

Workers will be able to complain to an employment tribunal where there has been a failure to comply with the obligations regarding allocation or payment of qualifying tips. In the event of a successful claim, the employment tribunal will have the power to order the employer to pay compensation of up to £5,000 for any financial loss suffered by the claimant because of an employer’s breach of their obligations under the Act.

Again, regulations will be required to bring the Code of Practice, and some remaining provisions of the Act, into force. We will keep a close eye on this and will update you when there are further developments.

Code of Practice (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Order 2024

This Code of Practice was expected to come into force on 18 July 2024.  However, this may depend on the outcome of the upcoming general election, as the Labour Party has committed to ending the practice of fire and re-hire altogether.

The Code of Practice is intended to apply in situations where an employer is proposing changes to employees’ terms and conditions of employment, and where the employer is considering dismissing and then re-engaging employees as a means of implementing those changes.

The Code of Practice requires employers to consult with employees (and their representatives) before making significant changes to terms and conditions of employment, and makes clear that dismissal and re-engagement should only be considered as a last resort after all other avenues have been explored. There will be a requirement for any dismissal and re-engagement to be fair and reasonable, for written notice to be given to employees, and for employees to be given the right to appeal any decision to dismiss and re-engage them.

We will update you on whether the Code of Practice has come into effect after the general election.

If you would like to discuss the implications of these updates, or if we can assist on any other employment law matter, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the team on 0141 331 5150.

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