Which employment legislation is likely to be impacted by the general election?

The UK Parliament has been dissolved until the general election on 4 July. This means that most draft legislation will no longer proceed, as all business in the House of Commons and House of Lords has come to an end. Before Parliament is dissolved, there is a "wash up" period which refers to the last few days of Parliament before dissolution. If business is not finalised during this period, it is lost.

What employment legislation made it through the "wash up" period?

A new statutory code of practice around dismissal and re-engagement will come into force on 18 July 2024. This will include increasing the consultation requirements for employers who wish to amend their employees’ terms and conditions.

It is expected to come into force on 1 October 2024 (but will be at the discretion of the new government) and ensures that tips and gratuities paid by customers are allocated to the workers. It required a new statutory code of practice, which happened during the “wash up” period.

The government has passed the Victims and Prisoners Act 2024 which will void provisions in agreements which intend to prevent a victim from making a disclosure about criminal acts to law enforcement agencies, professional advisers or regulators. Therefore, NDAs, settlement agreements or COT3s cannot prevent the reporting of criminal acts.

Disapplies the usual 26-week service requirement if a mother or person with whom a child is placed for adoption dies. It is unclear when the Act may come into force.

Which employment legislation did not make it through the "wash up" period?

The following legislation did not make it:

  • The Fertility Treatment (Employment Rights) Bill.
  • The Unpaid Trial Work Period (Prohibition) Bill.
  • The Bullying and Respect at Work Bill.

What employment legislation may not come to fruition?

It is currently unclear what will happen to the following proposals:

To include that TUPE only applies to employees and not limb (b) workers and where a business or service transfers to multiple buyers or service providers, TUPE will require that the whole (not part) of an employee’s role transfers to a single employer (rather than having their employment split between multiple buyers or service providers). The consultation runs until 11 July 2024.

Moving assessing fitness to work from GPs to “specialist work and healthcare professionals”. The call for evidence closes on 8 July 2024.

The consultation closed last year and to date, no further updates have been confirmed.

The consultation closed in March and has not yet been responded to. However, given the delays in the Employment Tribunal system it may still be possible that a fee will be reintroduced.

This includes minimum service levels during a strike in schools and hospitals. A consultation closed in January 2024 in relation to minimum service levels in schools, no further updates have been provided.

This is expected to come into force in September 2024.

This will give parents up to 12 weeks of paid leave if their baby requires specialist care after birth. This is expected to come into force in April 2025.

This is expected to come into force on 26 October 2024.

Where consultations are still running (which can also be extended), the responses will be considered, and proposals will be put to the incoming government.

What will happen will largely depend on which party forms the new government.

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