Hot Topics May’s HR Roundup – Legislation Royal Assent, Mental Health Guidance + A Celebrity Footballer Tribunal Case

MAY 2023. By Kimberly Bradshaw (CEO, Spotlight HR.)

From important new legislations with Royal Assent to ACAS workplace mental health guidance – to celebrity footballer tribunals with £4.9m at stake – we have some interesting ground to cover! So, make a cuppa and enjoy this quick read.

Hot off the press: Royal Assent for new legislation – But what does this mean for SMEs?

On 24 May 2023, three important legislations received Royal Assent, bringing new rights and protections to individuals and employees. As SME employers, you need to be keenly aware of these changes:

  • The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act grants eligible employed parents with a baby in neonatal care up to 12 weeks of paid leave and other entitlements like maternity and paternity leave.
  • The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act expands redundancy protections during Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave, or Shared Parental Leave to also cover pregnancy and a period after a parent’s return to work.
  • The Carer’s Leave Act establishes a new statutory unpaid leave entitlement for employees caring for a dependent with long-term care needs.

There is secondary legislation from the Government yet to come – But don’t worry, we will keep you posted.

Through the HR lens – Mental Health at work, it’s an everybody thing

At Spotlight HR, requests for mental health support in the workplace are rapidly rising.

So, following Mental Health Awareness Week in May, we felt the guidance ACAS recently released on reasonable adjustments for mental health in the workplace, is well worth including in this round-up.

The ACAS guidance provides practical advice, examples, and case studies for requesting and managing reasonable adjustments, prompting employers to review and consider specific policies for mental health.

By implementing reasonable adjustments – even for those without mental health or disability considerations – we can create a welcoming and inclusive environment while also preventing long-term sickness absences. A win, win.

Spotlight HR Top Tips to promote mental health support:

  • Include everyone: Make your business a motivational and encouraging place to be. Foster an open and inclusive culture while preventing long-term sickness absences.
  • Listen to your people’s needs: Create a welcoming and positive environment to boost productivity, by promoting well-being as part of your workplace culture.
  • Actively find positive solutions: Proactively manage employees’ needs to help them deliver their best. Maybe offer flexible or hybrid working – happy employees are proven to be better performers.

Feel free to click through to find our other BLOGS about mental health – or drop us a line for direct advice.

Employment Tribunal in focus – Celebrity Footballer Gary Lineker taken on by HMRC

Right, let’s start at the beginning – Celebrity cases always grab the headlines, but this tribunal is especially interesting. HMRC was pursuing an eyewatering £4.9m from the football presenter under the obscure IR35 rule – which, in a nutshell, determines if someone is treated as an employee or contractor for tax purposes.

Lineker’s tax case started in 2021 when HMRC alleged that he had been a “disguised employee” for BT Sport and the BBC from 2013 to 2018 – But a judge ruled last month that Lineker was, in fact, a freelancer with contractual agreements with both broadcasters.

Lineker’s case highlights the importance of clarifying the relationship between organisations and their workers from the off, as court cases are costly, whether you are famous or not!

Simple HR intervention can save you future headaches – get in touch if you need assistance.

Contact us for dependable HR advice if you’re affected by any of these issues discussed this month. We are here to help.