As we prepare to enter a new year, many employers will be wondering what the next 12 months may bring – especially after a period that has seen significant disruption to traditional workplace arrangements. 

 

To help businesses with their new year’s preparations, here are a few things that our team at HR Caddy thinks employers should be mindful of in 2022. 

 

Flexible working requests  

Many workplaces have moved to flexible working conditions, either implementing remote working or allowing some freedoms on work times. 

 

However, did you know that employers do not have to agree to flexible working? At the moment employees can request flexible working via a statutory request if they have been employed by the same employer for 26 weeks.

 

However, the Government is currently consulting on proposals to make this a day one right.

 

This wouldn’t affect the process for requesting flexible working, which would still be down to an employer to evaluate and agree to, but it would mean that new employees could make an immediate request. 

 

Sexual harassment 

Most employers are pretty hot on the issue of sexual harassment within the workplace already but the Government is looking to introduce a duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment and new protections from third-party harassment.

 

This may include an extension to the time limits for bringing any claim under the Equality Act 2010 that would double this period from three months to six months.

 

A consultation was launched in 2019 on this, but the pandemic has slowed the legislative process. Nevertheless, it is expected to be among the new employment rules introduced in 2022. 

 

Carer’s leave

The Government also plans to legislate for a right to carer’s leave for employees as a ‘day one’ right. This would ensure employees with long-term caring responsibilities have the right to request up to five-working days of unpaid leave per year to look after loved ones. 

 

This time could be used to provide care or arrange care for a person with a long-term care need. If introduced, the employee would need to give notice to their employer that that is at least twice the length of the time being requested as leave, plus one day.

 

Neonatal leave and pay

Upcoming legislation will give parents the right to take an additional week of leave for every week their baby is in neonatal care, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. 

 

The leave will likely have to be taken in a continuous block of one or more weeks. 

 

Those with a minimum qualifying period of 26 weeks’ service and who earn above the minimum pay threshold will be entitled to receive payment for the neonatal leave period at the current statutory rate. The legislation to ensure this right is expected imminently. 

 

Tips and gratuities

Under new rules on tipping, employers will be required to have a written policy on tips and keep a record of how gratuities are managed.

 

Employers will also need to abide by a new statutory Code of Practice on Tipping that will replace previous voluntary codes. 

 

Here to help 

Many of these measures are still on the legislative drawing board and are yet to be enshrined in law, but the upcoming Employment Bill is likely to incorporate many of these measures and more. 

 

With big changes to the world of work, the Government has indicated that it wants to protect the rights of workers and the needs of employers. 

 

If you are concerned about any of these changes or need support with implementing changes in your workplace in 2022, please speak to our team at HR Caddy by emailing [email protected], calling 0121 378 3998 or visiting www.hrcaddy.co.uk