Parental Bereavement Leave
Following the passing of The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018, an employee, who is considered a Primary Carer, that suffers a loss of a child under the age of 18 years, or a still-birth after 24 weeks, will be entitled to two weeks paid Parental Bereavement Leave under the new guidelines that will become mandatory in April 2020. The definition of a “Primary Carer” under the Act will include child’s parents, child’s adopters, foster parents and guardians, while also granting rights to more informal groups such as close relatives or family friends who have taken responsibility for the child’s care in the absence of parents.
All employees will be entitled to avail of Parental Bereavement Leave from the commencement of their employment. While an employee may use the two weeks of Bereavement Leave available in two separate one week blocks within 56 weeks of the loss of a child.
If a loss was to occur of a child of an employee, employers should also seek to inform employees about any current bereavement policy or compassionate leave their company may offer, that may include paid or unpaid leave for employee’s, which would allow for time off to attend a funeral of a close family relative.
However, we would advise that employers should look to review or establish their company Bereavement Policies before the new changes in April 2020. CoLaw will be reviewing all existing client’s policies and procedures before the changes come into place next year.
Do you need a Anti-Slavery & Human Trafficking Policy 2019?
In October 2015 legislation was introduced in the form of the Modern Slavery Act that required specific organisations to issue a statement for each financial year that confirmed the steps they had taken, or plans they are due to take, within their organisation to ensure that slavery and human trafficking was not occurring in its business or related supply chains. Any organisation that had a turnover of over £36 million within the financial year had a requirement to publish a modern slavery statement on their company’s website that would be easily accessible from the home page. Any organisation without a website would need to produce a statement to a requestor within 30 days.
However, some firms are risking damaging their business reputation with possible PR issues due to failing to release a statement, with the Home Office releasing a statement information noting that as of October 2018 around 17,000 organisations, 40% of the total required under the legislation, had not yet published a modern slavery statement.
In 2017 the legislation was updated to encourage organisations with a turnover of less than £36m to consider submitting a voluntary modern slavery statement. The guidance issued by the government has suggested that by issuing a modern slavery statement, this could benefit smaller firms if they are bidding for contracts with larger businesses above the £36m threshold.
Should your business be required to publish a modern slavery statement for the new tax year, or you wish to ensure you are indeed compliant with the Modern Slavery Act, you will need to do so by 31 March 2019. If this does affect your Company, please contact CoLaw to look at producing you an Anti-Slavery & Human Trafficking Policy bespoke to your Company.
Right to Work Checks Now Online as of January 2019
Employers are now able to utilise the Home Offices online Right to Work Checking Service as of 28 January 2019. The system has been in place since April of last year however, employers still needed to request physical documentation from job applicants/new employees. With the new system in place employers will no longer need to check any physical documentation.
The service gives employers the ability to verify the status of non-EEA nationals who hold biometric residence permits or biometric residence cards and EEA nationals who have been granted immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme. however, if you do want to utilise this service you must obtain permission from the prospective employee before the check is made. Employers should retain this information for at least two-years after employment ends.
Employers are also able to utilise the service to check if existing non-EEA nationals have a continuing right to work in the UK.