There are several legal updates expected in 2023 that may impact businesses and individuals across the UK. These include increases in the minimum wage, statutory sick pay and adoption pay, which will provide greater support to employees who cannot work as a result of illness or caring responsibilities.
There are also several bills that are currently making their way through Parliament. While these have not yet been granted royal assent, meaning they may not necessarily come into force in 2023 or at all, it is worth tracking their progress.
This article sets out a brief overview of the policies and acts of Parliament to look out for in the year ahead.
As set out by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement, the National Minimum Wage is set to rise to £10.42 from the 1st of April 2023 for workers aged 23 and above. This translates to an annual increase of 9.7%.
Workers aged between 21 and 22 will receive a minimum wage of £10.18 and workers aged between 18 and 20 and 16 to 17 will receive a minimum wage of £7.49 and £5.28 respectively. The apprentice rate is also set to increase to £5.28.
These increases come at a time of economic downturn and mean that low-paid workers will be better supported.
Increases to statutory pay are also expected in April 2023. Maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement pay is set to rise to £172.48 per week from a previous rate of £156.66. Statutory sick pay will increase from £99.35 to £109.40 per week.
Bills to Watch
Several Bills have been laid before Parliament and are currently passing through the legislative process. If these Bills are granted royal assent and come into force in 2023, there may be far-reaching implications for businesses and individuals. Here are some Bills to look out for:
Several employment Bills are currently before Parliament.
The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill proposes amendments to certain provisions in the Employment Rights Act 1996, with a view to enabling all workers to make a request for flexible working from their first day of employment. The Bill also requires employers to consult with an employee who has put in a flexible working request and provide the employee with a decision within two months.
The Employment Bill, currently in its second reading in the House of Commons, proposes to grant workers the right to request more predictable terms and conditions of their work.
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Non-Disclosure Agreements Bill
The Non-Disclosure Agreements Bill proposes to modify the use and content of non-disclosure agreements in cases of sexual harassment.
Online Safety Bill
The controversial Online Safety Bill is currently at the report stage in the House of Commons.
The Bill proposes to introduce a regime of regulation in relation to internet services, including social media platforms and search engines. The Office of Communications (OFCOM) is given new powers as an online safety regulator.
The aim of the bill is to minimise the proliferation of harmful content on the internet, particularly in relation to children.
If the Bill is passed, internet platforms that fail to comply with its provisions may be fined up to 10% of worldwide revenue.
Data Protection and Digital Information Bill
This Bill is currently in its second reading in the House of Commons. It proposes to amend and clarify any uncertainty that businesses encounter in trying to comply with the UK General Data Protection Regulations and the Data Protection Act 2018.
If the Bill receives royal assent, among other departures from the UK's current data security regime, data controllers processing personal data in order to carry out scientific research will no longer have to re-contact data subjects and provide them with further information in every case.
Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill
This Bill is currently at the report stage in the House of Commons. It proposes to revoke EU law that was retained in the UK's body of legislation by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 following Brexit.
If the Bill is granted royal assent and becomes law, retained EU legislation will expire unless preserved. Legislation which could be affected includes The Transfer of Undertakings Regulations, Agency Worker Regulations and the Working Time Regulations, which all feature prominently in the UK's employment sphere.
Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill
This Bill is also at the report stage in the House of Commons. It proposes a full set of reforms to the Registrar of Companies (at Companies House) and the general legal framework relating to certain business structures and business operations.
The Bill aims to minimise the use and exploitation of the UK's business framework by organised criminals, terrorists and unscrupulous entities.