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Welcome to our 3rd Newsletter of 2023, guaranteed to fully update you on recent UK employment law!

Our ‘Legal Updates’ section gives you the latest on legislative developments such new Family-friendly Acts.  In ‘Consultations’ we update you on ACAS’s draft Code of Practice for Flexible Working Requests and progress on Government Consultations on Paternity Leave and contractual Non-Compete clauses.  Employers will find some useful information and tool-kits in our ‘Workplace Guidance’ section.

There’s a bumper crop of Employment Law Cases this issue.  Two religious/philosophical beliefs and gender-critical beliefs cases prove just how difficult it is for employers to strike the right balance where employees hold anti-transgender views.

The conversation about AI has really taken off this year so in our ‘On Your Radar’ section we’re sharing a recently published House of Commons library report.  The report focuses on the use of AI as a workplace tool and the impact it may have on employment law.

Finally, we hope you’ll find the uplifting infographic (courtesy of the excellent Delayed Gratification team) a bit of a tonic.

Until next time,

best wishes from us all at Menzies Law 

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Legislative Change

Royal assent has been given to the following Private Members Bills:

Allocation of tips:  We outlined this Bill previously here.  The Bill received Royal Assent in May 2023, with implementation expected in 2024. The regulations will be accompanied by a Code of Practice, which has not yet been published.

Four new Family friendly & Flexible Working Bills: details here

Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023:  Earlier this year (see here) we mentioned that the Government was seeking to legislate to ensure minimum service levels during periods of industrial action.  After a highly controversial passage through parliament, it received royal assent in July.  The consultation process and drafting of complex new regulations is going to take some time.  It’s possible that the Act will only have limited practical effects before the next general election.

Retained EU (Revocation and Reform) Bill:  more here

Reaching 3rd reading:

The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Bill reaches its 3rd reading on 18 Sept.  We updated you in our Newsletter 2023 Issue 2 (here) on this Bill which aims to give workers the right to request a more predictable work pattern after a certain length of service.  A case of ‘watch this space’…


The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill proposed by Wera Hobhouse MP, planned to reintroduce employer liability for third-party harassment. This has been somewhat diluted – more detail here

Workplace Guidance

  • Stress at work: ACAS has published useful guidance (here) for employers on how to recognise the signs of stress, help manage it and create an environment where staff can openly discuss it.
  • Data Subject Access Request:  Many businesses find managing data subject access requests (DSARs) painful.  This guidance from the ICO (here)  helps employers get to grips with DSAR obligations and includes helpful examples of what employers ‘must’ (reflecting legal requirements) and ‘should’ do.
  • Managing sickness absence: ACAS has published a toolkit for employers on managing sickness absence 
  • Fertility: the CIPD has published useful guidance on workplace support to staff experiencing fertility issues (here). This encourages employers to provide support regarding fertility challenges, investigation and treatment and to develop a framework to deal with this.


  • Flexible Working: ACAS has published a consultation on its revised Code of Practice for handling flexible working requests.
  • Paternity leave: legislation will be amended to offer more flexibility following the Government’s response to its 2019 consultation on paternity leave.
  • Non-compete restrictions –  The Government has responded to its 2020 consultation on contractual non-compete clauses.  We appreciate this is a rather niche area so instead of reviewing the Government response, you can read this Blog from Luke who loves nothing more than a restrictive covenant!

Recent Employment Law Cases

Higgs v Farmor’s Schoolthe EAT considers if a Christian employee was discriminated against when she was dismissed for Facebook posts perceived as anti-LGBT.

Fahmy v Arts Council England was this employee harassed when she expressed gender-critical views at work? Was her employer liable?

Greasley-Adams v Royal Mail Group Ltdthe EAT looks at whether an employee needed to be aware of the unwanted conduct for a successful harassment claim.

Connor v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police  can an employer can rely on an agreement to calculate payment in lieu of annual leave if this results in a lower payment than would be received under the WTR?

Miss Clare Jackson -v- The University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust – does unilaterally varying an employment contract amount to a dismissal if the new contract terms are not ‘radically’ different from the previous terms?

Alcedo Orange Ltd v Ferridge-Gunn (EAT) – looking at the motivation of decision makers in a dismissal.  Is a dismissal discriminatory if the decision-maker is not motivated by a protected characteristic (here, pregnancy) but employees (who were only indirectly involved) are?

AECOM Limited v Mallon the EAT determined that an employer did not need to know the specifics of a disabled persons substantial disadvantage before being required to make reasonable adjustments.


On Your Radar

Artificial intelligence and employment law: the House of Commons has published a research briefing (here) which explores the impact that AI has and may have on employment law, including proposals for regulatory reform.  It’s a long read but a look for an overview of what’s in the pipeline.

AI is going to increasingly effect HR and employment relationships – from writing policies for staff use of AI to recruitment and managing workforce restructuring or re-skilling. It’s been said before, but it’s probably true  – although AI is unlikely to replace humans, those who use it will likely replace those who don’t!

The ‘nothing to do with employment law’ bit

The constant bombardment of bad news makes it hard to be optimistic sometimes.  This fabulous infographic gives us all some reasons to be cheerful!

Infographic from Delayed Gratification, the Slow Journalism magazine: Click here for zoomable version.

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