Employment rights: what to look out for in 2023

Brigitte Weaver, employment associate at Katten UK LLP, outlines the main family-related employment changes that might become law in 2023.

Employment law documents and gavel.


As we say goodbye to one year and enter a new one, we often talk about the excitement of a “new chapter” and “new beginnings”. Rarely is this as true and real than for those who have just become or about to become mums. Whilst those first days as a parent are exciting, they can also be daunting and endure anxiety, particularly when it comes to the prospect of juggling work and family life. This short article will examine what changes to our employment rights are lurking in 2023.

Although the Government did not bring forward the much-anticipated Employment Bill in 2022, several proposals that were expected to form part of that Bill may now become law by way of separate legislation through Private Members’ Bills [see family-related rights]. Here are a few things working parents should look out for in 2023:

The end of EU law

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill is due to expire at the end of the year, unless express legislation is introduced to preserve it, though there is the possibility of an extension. The implications of the Bill are significant, and many employment areas may be impacted, including working time, paid holidays and laws protecting fixed-term and part-time and agency workers.

Flexible working rights – Are we becoming too flexible?

The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill will amend the existing rules. The Bill proposes to (i) extend the statutory right to request flexible working to all employees from day one; (ii) permit two requests a year from an employee; and (iii) require employers to consult with employees before refusing a request.

New rules on fire and rehire

Following some high-profile corporate redundancies in March 2022, the Government proposed a new Statutory Code of Practice on dismissal and re-engagement.

Enhancing family-related rights

Carer’s rights: The Government announced support for the Carer’s Leave Bill, which will introduce a right for carers to take a week’s unpaid leave in a 12-month period to care for a dependent with a long-term care need.

Neonatal care: The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill will entitle employees whose child receives neonatal care to a right to leave and pay. The Bill provides for a minimum of one week’s leave, but this could be extended.

Enhanced pregnancy rights: The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill will extend protection from redundancy to those who are pregnant, and for an 18-month period after an employee returns from maternity, adoption and/or shared parental leave.

Fertility treatment: The Fertility Treatment (Employment Rights) Bill will require employers to allow employees to take time off for fertility treatment appointments. The Miscarriage Leave Bill will also entitle employees to three days paid leave where they experience miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy before 24 weeks.

*Brigitte Weaver is employment associate at Katten UK LLP.

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