Read the latest from our Employment team in the September Update

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Read the latest from our Employment team in the September Update

Read the latest from our Employment team in the September Update

Our Employment team have pulled together recent news and updates to help you and your business keep up to date, as well as the legal issues to watch out for over the coming months, within the Employment sector. 

CIPD Publishes Report on Evolution & Status of Zero Hours Contracts

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (‘CIPD’) has published a new report titled: ‘Zero-hours contracts: Evolution and Current Status.’ The report made the following four recommendations:

  • Introduce a right for variable hours workers to request a more stable contract or working arrangement after they have been employed for six months;

  • Create a statutory code of practice on the responsible management of zero hours workers, including a requirement to pay compensation if workers' shifts are cancelled at short notice;

  • Improve labour market enforcement, including through the creation of a single enforcement body and a stronger focus on supporting employer compliance; and

  • Abolish worker status to help clarify and enhance employment rights for zero hours workers.

It will be interesting to see whether any of these recommendations are considered, and potentially even implemented, by the Government in due course.

Employees Submit Reports of Furlough Fraud by Employers to HMRC

According to the law firm Pinsent Masons, HMRC has received around 14,000 whistleblowing complaints from employees relating to furlough fraud which was allegedly committed by their employers during the pandemic. It was previously reported by the Public Accounts Committee in February 2022 that around 8.7 per cent (which equates to around £5.3 billion) of money distributed under the furlough scheme was lost to fraud or in error.

HMRC is now encouraging employees to report any concerns surrounding the potential misuse of the furlough scheme to it via a digital reporting service. Employers that are found to have misused the scheme can face hefty penalties, including being made to repay the money claimed under the furlough scheme. 

"Company directors may also face disqualification or even custodial sentences in the most serious of cases."

In such circumstances, it is vitally important that employers seek legal advice if mistakes relating to claiming from the furlough scheme were made.

New Data Published on Working Patterns of Parents

The Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) has published data setting out the employment rates of parents with dependent children. The ONS obtained this information from a survey conducted from April to June 2021.

The main findings of this survey were that:

  • 75.6% of mothers (more than in any equivalent quarter over the last 20 years) and 92.1% of fathers were in work;

  • It is now more common for both parents to be employed full-time, rather than one parent working part-time, than it was back in 2020; and

  • A third of working mothers make use of working arrangements such as flexible or term-time hours, compared with 23.6% of working fathers.

This data from the ONS provides an insight into the dynamics of working parents, and may be of interest to employers when drafting or reviewing flexible working arrangements or policies.

New Guidance Published by the Home Office on Domestic Abuse

The Home Office has published statutory guidance in order to assist various organisations (including employers) identify and respond to domestic abuse and to promote best practice in the workplace.

A copy of this helpful guidance can be found here

Get in touch

If you have any queries relating to this update, or require any advice on issues you may be facing in the employment sector, please contact Jon Taylor.

This article was written with the assistance of Kate Baggs and Jordan Pace.