This informal CPD article, ‘Keeping you HR compliant and informed for the start of 2023', was provided by EST HR, a multi service professional practice offering HR, Accountancy and Commercial Finance services.
The New Year is always a great time to review our policies and practice around people and culture. To ensure a solid foundation for this, it’s important to be mindful of the legal, cultural and political factors that will influence how we manage our people and organisations.
We have outlined below several areas of legal and working practice that will be key for an informed and compliant start to 2023 in the HR space.
Record Real Living Wage Increase
The Living Wage rates has risen by 10.1% to £10.90 an hour across the UK (£1 increase), and to £11.95 an hour in London (90p increase). This is the largest year-on-year in the Living Wage Foundation’s 11-year history reflecting sharp increases in living costs and in response to cost-of-living rises.
This year’s Living Wage rates have been brought forward and were announced on Thursday 22nd September 2022. Employers who subscribe to the real Living Wage should implement the rise as soon as possible but by the latest 14 May 2023.
Transport Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill
The Transport Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill was introduced in Parliament on 20 October 2022 and is expected to come into force in 2023. If enacted, it would require employers and trade unions to agree a minimum service level during transport strikes over a three-month period, ensuring that specified transport services – which could include, for example, rail, tubes and buses – will not completely shut down when unions impose strikes.
This bill will balance the right to strike with ensuring commuters can get to their place of work and people can continue to make vital journeys to access education and healthcare during strikes. There will be a public consultation on how the legislation will work in detail, followed by regulations for all transport services once that secondary legislation has been agreed by Parliament. The provisions of the bill extend and apply to England, Wales, and Scotland.
Right to Work Checks Change
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government introduced digital ways for employers to check employee’s right to work in the UK because of the difficulties associated with manually checking documents. These arrangements ended on 30 September 2022.
New digital right to work checks, using ‘identification document validation technology’ (IDVT), became available for employees with valid British or Irish passports from 6 April 2022. Employers can use an ‘identity service provider’ (IDSP) to carry out this check, although they remain responsible for checking the identity of the employee and retaining the record for the duration of employment plus two years.
Since 1 October 2022, employers now need to either:
- Carry out a manual check by physically meeting with the employee to check and copy their original documentation.
- Appoint an ‘identification service provider’ (IDSP) to check the passport of the employee on their behalf or carry out the check themselves using ID document validation technology.
Government guidance has been updated and has a list of approved IDSPs. The Employer Checking Service continues for right to work checks on non-UK/Irish citizens.
Draft ICO guidance out for consultation
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published draft guidance on two important topics relevant to employers: processing information about the health of workers, and monitoring people while at work. Both are the subject of public consultation until January 2023. Watch this space.