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UK: Other Recent Developments

ACAS has published a draft Code of Practice on handling requests for a predictable working pattern, to sit alongside the new right to make these requests – which is due to come into effect in Autumn 2024. The Code has been published in draft as ACAS is seeking views on it as part of a consultation which closes on 17 January 2024.

The draft Code includes guidance on how an employer should handle a request for a predictable working pattern.

The periods within which certain criminal convictions must be disclosed to prospective employers have been reduced to help enable former offenders to find new employment.  According to the Government’s press release, it is anticipated that over 120,000 former offenders will find it easier to get work and turn their lives away from crime following this change in the law.

Amendments to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 mean that, as of 28 October 2023, some offences will become ‘spent’ seven years after the end of the sentence and will not need to be disclosed to employers after that point.

For example, with some exceptions for serious offences and roles that involve vulnerable people, custodial sentences of more than four years are now spent seven years after the sentence has been served, unless the individual commits a further offence in that period.

The FCA and PRA have removed the cap on bonuses that can be paid to material risk takers at banks, building societies and PRA-designated investment firms with effect from 31 October.  The cap prevented these firms from paying bonuses of more than 100% of fixed salary, or 200% with shareholder approval.  It does not directly affect solo-regulated FCA firms.

Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-House Counsel

Employers with atypical workers should start preparing for handling requests for more predictable working patterns under the new legislation when the right comes into force.