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In the Queen's speech in December 2019, the Government announced there will be an Employment Bill, some key elements of which include:

  • creating a new, single enforcement body, offering greater protections for workers;
  • introducing a new right for all workers to request a more predictable contract;
  • extending redundancy protections to prevent pregnancy and maternity discrimination;
  • allowing parents to take extended leave for neonatal care;
  • introducing an entitlement to one week’s leave for unpaid carers; and
  • making flexible working the default unless employers have good reason not to.

Following consultation, we are awaiting draft legislation and timescales. However, two important new rights will take effect from 6th April 2020:

  1. Extension of a right to a written statement for all workers from day one of employment

Employers currently have two months to issue a written statement of employment particulars (contract) to their employees. From April, all workers (including casual staff) must be issued with a written statement on day one.

  1. New statutory right to parental bereavement leave and pay introduced

Although many employers currently allow compassionate leave to bereaved parents, from April there will be a minimum entitlement (from day one of employment) for employees to take up to two weeks’ leave following the death of a child under 18 (or following a stillbirth 24 weeks or more into pregnancy). The leave must be taken in blocks of a week and can be taken immediately following the death of the child or within 56 weeks. Statutory parental bereavement pay will also be available to eligible employees.

Emma Long

Emma Long

Emma has a Degree in Law and is a qualified solicitor. She left private practice to become an Employment Law Consultant in the banking sector for a number of years before joining the Education HR team as an HR Consultant in October 2012. Her current role includes drafting and updating the HR model policies, procedures, guidance and toolkits to ensure they are fit for purpose and legally compliant. Emma supports the Education HR team to ensure they are up to date with Employment Law developments and ensures the Education HR website is regularly updated. She also assists her HR advice line colleagues to respond to complex queries as they arise. Emma is an experienced trainer and she delivers a variety of programmed and bespoke training to schools, together with planning our training offer and developing new training courses. She is also a school governor at a Junior School in Brentwood.