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Employment Law Updates for 2021

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Calendar January 26, 2021

What is employment law?

Employment law is a set of laws that deals with the rights of employees and the responsibilities of employers. If a business has more than one employee, then the business is more likely to use employment law.
Employment law focuses on the ‘world of work’ this could be from hiring of resources, advertising, voluntary exists and many more.
KLG offers HR support for businesses along with our range of employment law services. Read on to find out the latest changes in employment law for 2021.

What does employment law cover?

  • The contentious side of employment law would be:
  • Age discrimination
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Disability
  • Discrimination based on race, religion, sexuality or gender
  • Dismissal and employee grievances
  • Employment contracts
  • Equal pay
  • Minimum wage
  • Parental leave
  • Redundancy
  • Working hours
  • Settlement Agreements

The non-contentious side will focus on the solicitor providing the legal advice, negotiations and any transitional tasks clients would need assistance with.

Why does employment law exist?

The existence of employment law is to regulate the relationship between businesses and employees. Both employers and staff would need to comply with relevant legislations ensuring that dismissal processes, hiring processes etc is fair and just in the workplace. Employment law helps promote equality in the workplace and combating discrimination.

Changes to employment law in 2021

There are many changes in employment law coming into action in 2021:

1. New Immigration System
As we come to the end of the Brexit transition there will be a new points based immigration system in place for the 1st January 2020.
Employers would need to understand how this system will affect their recruitment and would need to apply for a sponsor licence. For the current EEA employees, employers would need to encourage them to apply for settled or pre-settled status. European nationals have a transition grace period until 30th June 2021 to apply for this scheme. Employers need to check these rules and the right to work during this period.

2. Review your contracts for IR35
There are reforms to the IR35 on off payroll working, this would be in the private sector. It comes into force on the 6th April 2021. The rules are aimed at reduced tax avoidance for contractors.
Under these new rules, the contractor would be responsible for determining their employment status and assessing whether IR35 applies. If so, the organisation that would pay for the individual’s fees is deemed to be their employer for tax and national insurance purposes.

3. Changes to the National Minimum Wage
The national minimum wages will apply from the 1st April 2021 has not been announced but it is highly likely to increase due to the coronavirus impact.
The new rates and the extension of the national living wage to 23-year-olds should be announced soon and employers would need to be ready for this.

4. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended to 31st March 2021. Employers can furlough staff till 31st January 2021. The government may review this and see if they can extend it further.
Employers will need to assess how any changes to the scheme will impact their business and plan how to respond when the scheme comes to an end.

5. New Rules on Publishing Modern Slavery Statements
The government is making changes to the rules on publishing modern slavery and human trafficking statements. It would be mandatory for organisations to report on certain areas when publishing their statement. It is not yet known when the new rules will come into force but sometime next year.

6. Redundancy Protection for Pregnant Employees and New Parents may be Extended
An Employment Bill was announced in the December 2019 Queen’s Speech, to include measures to extend redundancy protection to prevent pregnancy and maternity discrimination. However, no date has yet been set for these changes to be brought into force.
Other changes in Employment Law that we may be seeing:
Reforms to exit pay in the public sector;
Measures to ensure that tips left for workers go to them in full;
New rights for all workers to request a more predictable contract; and
An increase to the length of time required for continuity of employment to be broken.
If you are a business or individual and have been affected by any of these changes, please call us 0330 221 0684. Otherwise, contact the team today and talk to one of our employment law specialists.

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