Employment Law Update – Summary July 2022

One of the benefits for being a member of My People Partner is that you receive an in-depth Employment Law Update at the start of every month.  What follows is a summary of the July 2022 report.

Go to My People Partner for more information on the programme or for advice on employment law and HR matters.

  1. Fit notes

New regulations have been laid before Parliament amending existing legislation on statements of fitness for work, or “fit notes”, to expand the category of people who can sign them for the purposes of SSP and social security claims. From 1 July 2022, registered nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists will be allowed to sign these statements. The regulations also insert a definition of “healthcare professional” which includes doctors and the four new professions.

Reference: The Social Security (Medical Evidence) and Statutory Sick Pay (Medical Evidence) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2022

  • Acas advice on hybrid working

Acas has published advice to employers about hybrid working after a survey New survey shows 3 in 5 employers have seen an increase in hybrid working since the pandemic | Acas finds 60% of employers have seen it increase compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Acas advises employers:

  • Hybrid working policies should explain how hybrid working can be requested, detail how job roles are assessed and how decisions will be made.
  • Remote staff should have equitable access to opportunities such as team building, training and social activities as those in the workplace.
  • Transparency and fairness are important when deciding whether to approve staff requests for hybrid working. Other forms of flexible working may be considered as alternatives.
  • Suitable equipment and information to facilitate safe at-home working is necessary.
  • Employers must comply with the law on working hours. Staff working at home should take adequate rest breaks and look after their mental health.
  • A trial period to test hybrid working and establish any necessary adjustments may be useful.

This advice follows guidance Working from home and hybrid working | Acas published by Acas in June 2021.

  • Apprenticeships to become simpler

From August 2022, the apprenticeships programme will be made simpler for employers to use. The government hopes to make the system more user-friendly for employers by “reducing bureaucratic burdens”. Four improvements are mentioned in the announcement: making it simpler for individuals to accelerate their apprenticeship, introducing a consistent baseline for off-the-job training, changing English and maths requirements, and providing a more efficient payment service. A final version of the rule changes will be issued in July 2022, following a review of feedback about the draft rules. Suggestions for how to make the rules clearer or better understood are welcome by email to fundingrules.comments@education.gov.uk by 24 June 2022.

Members of the My People Partner programme also received information relating to:

  • HGV drivers – The House of Commons Transport Committee has published a report on the road freight supply chain which recommends a “supply chain levy” if the retention of HGV drivers and working conditions in the sector do not improve in the next
  • “Fire and rehire” – The government have confirmed that the draft Statutory Code of Practice on dismissal and re-engagement will be published for consultation in summer 2022.
  • Case Law
    • Employment rights of armed forces personnel
    • Ethical veganism
    • Long COVID symptoms was a disability

To discuss any of the information within this document or to find out more about My People Partner, contact us at KCA

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