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HR and employment law - what is 2021 likely to bring?

18 Dec 2020

It has certainly been a difficult year for employers and HR practitioners, but we do hope our updates and support have helped in some way!

So, looking forward, what is 2021 likely to bring?

Furlough
It was announced by the Chancellor that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended by a further month and will now remain in place until the end of April. It was also confirmed that the government contributions will continue at 80%, rather than the expected increase to employer contributions thought to be announced in January. CIPD have called for the scheme to be extended until June 2021 but it remains to be seen whether there will be any further extension.

Brexit
The end of the Brexit transition period will see the introduction of a new immigration system from 1 January 2021. Free movement within the EU will end and will be replaced by a points-based system that will treat EU and non-EU citizens the same. Employers will need to review how this system will affect their recruitment and, although employers cannot yet ask for proof of settled or pre-settled status, they should encourage their existing employees to apply, if they are yet to do so. Existing EU nationals will have until 30 June 2021 to apply under the settlement scheme.

What else?
There are also some further changes anticipated, but yet to be confirmed, including:

  • increased redundancy protection for pregnant employees and new parents from the point they inform their employer of the pregnancy to up to 6 months after returning to work;
HR

 

  • a possible new right for employees with caring responsibilities to take a weeks’ unpaid leave per year;
  • extended leave for parents of children in neo-natal care; and
  • a possible new right to request a more predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks’ service, aimed at staff engaged with unpredictable or variable hours, such as zero-hour contracts.

We shall of course continue to provide updates on new developments, and you can get in touch with the team anytime with any questions and for assistance with our fixed fee Covid-19 policy and redundancies and changing terms and conditions of employment.