Two more new laws on the way

New laws coming in
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

So far this year we have seen a wave of new laws bringing in new rights for workers. These are another two to add to that list.

Firstly, once implemented, the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023, will give all workers, the right to request a predictable working pattern if they satisfy certain eligibility criteria. This is a brand-new right and will apply to all workers, including those on zero-hour contracts, agency workers and those on a fixed term contracts for less than twelve months. Although, it is expected that workers will need at least 26 weeks of continuous service before they can make a request.

The procedure for dealing with a request for a predictable working pattern is on a par with flexible working requests. But there is one big difference as such requests for a predictable working pattern must be dealt with by the employer within one month. Refusals of such requests is permitted, provided that it is for one of the prescribed grounds which includes burden of additional costs, insufficiency of work during the periods the workers proposes to work, and detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand.

Acas are now tasked with creating a Code of Practice to provide further guidance for employers. From the information available it is expected that this new law will be implemented around Autumn 2024.

The second new law is the Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) Act 2023. This will see the lowering of the age at which eligible workers must be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme, from 22 to 18. It will also remove the lower earnings limit. Businesses that employ younger workers and those in lower paid employment will be impacted. The Department for Work and Pensions will produce guidance on implementation, and it is expected that the law will take effect at some point in 2024.

Whilst these new laws bring in even more changes for employers to get their heads around, there is time to get ready as they are unlikely to be implemented for a year.

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