Upcoming Changes

Below is a list of upcoming employment law changes. In addition to the below, there will be changes as a result of case law. Below you will find highlights of employment law changes from the previous year.


2023 Planned and expected Changes  


No Date Confirmed
  • A duty requiring employers to prevent sexual harassment will be introduced, including explicit protections from third-party harassment. The time limit for bringing related claims will be looked at and possibly extended to 6 months.
  • New law prohibiting confidentiality clauses in contracts or settlement agreements from preventing disclosures to the police, regulated health and care or legal professionals to be introduced.
  • New law requiring confidentiality clauses to set out their limitations to be introduced.
  • Laws on criminal record disclosures to be amended, reducing the disclosure period for sentences lasting four years or less.
  • Redundancy protection for new and expectant parents to be extended to 18 months from the beginning of leave (maternity, adoption, shared parental) and throughout pregnancy.
  • New law introducing the right for all workers to request a more predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks' service to be introduced and requiring compensation for shifts cancelled at short notice.
  • New law to increase break in continuous employment from one week to four weeks to be introduced.
  • New law requiring employers to pass on all tips to workers and preventing deductions from 'tips' to be introduced.
  • Statutory Neonatal Leave and Pay to be introduced. This will provide employees with up to 12 weeks’ paid leave if their child (aged under 28 days) requires a hospital stay of over seven days.
  • A new statutory code on "fire and re-hire" to be introduced
  • New statutory day-one right to Carer's leave will provide employees with up to one week (5 days) of unpaid Statutory Carer’s Leave per year.
  • Ban on exclusivity clauses to be extended to employees on contracts with a guaranteed weekly income which is below or equivalent to the Lower Earnings Limit.
  • All current EU-Derived employment law to be reviewed and repealed or retained. Likely to see changes to TUPE, Working Time Regulations and rights of agency, part-time and fixed-term staff.
  • Regulatory exemptions from requirements such as gender pay gap reporting will be extended to businesses with fewer than 500 employees: currently applies to businesses with under 250 employees.
  • GDPR will be replaced with a ‘common sense’ data protection system.
  • New legislation to be introduced requiring minimum staffing levels during strikes and making it a legal requirement for trade unions to put offers to member vote.
  • Amendments to the Flexible Working Regulations, making it a Day One right to request flexible working (it is currently only available to employees with 26 weeks' continuity), although the government has emphasised that this remains a right to request, not a right to have flexible working.  The procedure for requesting flexible working will be simplified and employees will be allowed to make two requests (previously one request) within a 12-month period, and the response time for employers will reduce to two months (previously three months).



2022 High Lights

6th April 2022

Right to Work Checks - New digital right to work checks, using ‘identification document validation technology’ (IDVT), became available for employees with valid British or Irish passports from 6th April 2022. Employers can use a ‘identity service provider’ (IDSP) to carry out this check, although they remain responsible for checking the identity of the employee and retaining the record for the duration of employment plus two years.

6th April 2022

Fit Note Digitalisation - There is no longer a requirement for GPs and other doctors to sign a fit note personally as evidence of an employee’s sickness absence. New regulations allows fit notes to be issued digitally.  Both the old and new versions will be legally valid while the new version is being rolled out.

1st July 2022

Fit Note Certification Rule Change - From 1st July nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists working in GP practices or in hospitals will be able to issue and sign fit notes.

12th July 2022

Ban On Exclusivity Clauses Regulations - Draft regulations to include those earning below the lower earnings limit (currently set at £123 a week) in the ban on exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts have now been put before Parliament. They will come into force 28 days after they have approved.

15th July 2022

Tipping Bill Receives Government Backing - A private members bill that will make it unlawful for employers to withhold tips from staff has received government backing. A new statutory Code of Practice on how tips should be distributed will also be developed, and workers will gain a new right to request information on an employer’s tipping record.

15th July 2022

Neonatal Bill Receives Government Backing - The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill received government backing. It will allow parents whose babies need hospital neonatal care to take 12 weeks’ paid leave in addition to their statutory maternity or paternity leave.

5th September 2022

Data Protection Bill Stalled - The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill was stalled in Parliament to allow ministers in Prime Minister Liz Truss’ new administration to ‘consider the legislation further’. The bill is intended to make the UK’s current GDPR regime less of a burden on business, while retaining a ‘global gold standard’ for data protection.

22nd September 2022

Bill To Remove EU Law - The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022-23 paves the way for a post-Brexit reform of UK law. The government announcement says the legislation will allow it to ‘amend more easily, repeal and replace’ law derived from the EU which has been kept as part of the Brexit arrangements.  The Bill comes into effect at the end of 2023 and has a transition period up to mid-2026. After this time, regulations derived from EU law including the: Working Time Regulations, Agency Workers Regulations, Fixed Term Employees Regulations, Part Time Worker Regulations and the TUPE Regulations will be removed from UK law unless they are written into new legislation.

1st October 2022

Right To Work Checks - During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government introduced digital ways for employers to check employee’s right to work in the UK because of the difficulties associated with manually checking documents. These arrangements end on 30 September.

3rd October 2022

Future Reporting Thresholds - The small business threshold for any future reporting regulations doubled from 250 employees to 500 employees.

17th October 2022

IR35 Responsibility Remains With Employers - Former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini budget on 23 September 2022 contained the announcement that employers would stop being responsible for deciding whether the IR35 tax rules apply to contractors working for them through personal service companies. On 17 October, the new Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, announced the proposed change would not take place.

21st October 2022

Carer’s Leave And Pregnancy/Maternity Redundancy Protection Bills - This private member’s bill, which has government backing, has now started its progress through Parliament and will be a day one right for employees. The Carer’s Leave Bill gives carers one week’s unpaid leave a year to care for a dependant with a long-term care need, that is:

  • likely to last more than three months
  • is a disability under the Equality Act 2010
  • connected to old age.

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill is also a private member’s bill which has received government backing. Employees on maternity leave currently must be given priority for suitable alternative employment in a redundancy situation. This bill will start that protection from when an expectant mother, or those adopting a child or taking shared parental leave, notifies their employer of their pregnancy, match for adoption, intention to take shared parental leave and extends for 18 months from the start of that leave.

6th November 2022

Repeal Of Health And Social Care Levy - The 1.25% NI contribution increase brought in on 6th April 2022 will be reversed.