In this newsletter we look at forthcoming legislation, rising sickness absence rates and what you can do, and other elements.

We hope you find this information helpful, if you would like more detail on any aspect please contact us.  Don’t forget to take a look at our website to see the full range of our services.

From basic Contracts of Employment to a fully Outsourced HR service we can help.  If you would like to know more about any of our support, consultancy, and training services, and see how we can help you, please visit our website or contact us at to arrange a Free no-obligation consultation.

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Legislation Updates / Case Law

Forthcoming Legislation Update

Carer’s Leave – the introduction of an annual entitlement to 1 week’s unpaid leave for those who provide or arrange care for a dependent from the first day of employment is due to come into effect in 2023.

Neonatal Leave – the introduction of 12 weeks’ neonatal leave and pay for parents of premature babies who require specialist care in a neonatal unit is expected to become law in 2023.  The legislation will apply to parents whose babies spend 7 days or more continuously in hospital, before the age of 28 days. This would be in addition to the current entitlement to maternity and paternity pay and leave.

Extended Redundancy Protection – extended redundancy protections during pregnancy and maternity leave are expected to become law in 2023.  Employees on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave are currently afforded greater protection during redundancy processes.  Those at risk of redundancy have the right to be offered any suitable alternative vacancy that is available.  The government has proposed that these rights should be gained much earlier: from the date the woman announces the pregnancy and last for 18 months. This essentially means that employees who have returned to work within the last six months following maternity, adoption or shared parental leave will still have the additional protections in respect of redundancy.

Break of Continuous Service – it is expected that there will be an extension of time required to break a period of continuous service from 1 week to 4 weeks.

Sickness Absence – Fit Notes issued hit an all-time high

Research conducted by law firm GQ|Littler, based on NHS data for the year ending September 2022, showed an 11 per cent increase in the number of fit notes issued, up to 10.4 million.

They suggested there were four likely reasons for the increase in fit notes,

  • a return to employees seeking fit notes following Covid, as they were sometimes more difficult to obtain during the pandemic with some employers relaxing the requirement.
  • the current state of the economy and the after-effects of the pandemic, which resulted in more absences as a result of mental health issues.
  • an increase in illnesses as restrictions were relaxed and more people mixed again
  • employers allowing people back into the workplace once Covid restrictions were lifted.

Until recently, fit notes could only be issued by GPs.  However, following a change implemented on 1 July 2022 to alleviate pressure on primary care services, fit notes can now also be issued by nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, a record 2.5 million people missed work in the three months before January as a result of long-term sickness.

There are some basic things an organisation can do to help avoid sickness absence:

  • Managers asking people about their general wellbeing, it can identify problems and enable the organisation to help put support in place;
  • Offering workplace support and encouraging open dialogue about health issues can help to flag issues early on before they develop into long-term absence issues,
  • Managers should also be trained on the basics of staying in touch with employees when they are absent and flagging where support can be provided. For example, Occupational health can go a long way in helping manage long-term sickness
  • Review the data behind absences, this can help identify initiatives, support and training to assist in reducing sickness levels.


Operational Managers are key to a Company’s success, and how they work with and manage their teams is an essential part of this.

We have recently introduced an additional ‘1 to 1 HR Coaching for Managers’ module, Managing Recruitment.  The full list can be seen below, all are delivered remotely via Microsoft Teams:

  • Being an Effective Manager / Responsibilities of a Manager;
  • Dealing with Misconduct (Discipline), Poor Performance (Capability) and Grievances;
  • Managing Attendance / Sickness Absence;
  • Managing Performance / Developing People;
  • Dealing With Conflict;
  • Managing Recruitment.

Each module is focussed on the key elements involved, and takes around 1 to 1½ hours, with Managers also completing a workbook containing a number of questions and scenarios which is then analysed and feedback provided to ensure an in-depth understanding of the subject(s).

We also provide the following classroom based training courses (when social distancing rules allow) to help Managers deal with issues and people correctly to enhance your business:

  • Influencing Styles and Persuasive Negotiating;
  • Managing Conflict;

All of our courses can be tailored to suit your exact needs and delivered at your premises if required.

More details on all of the above can be found on our website.

Partner Services

We have long-term partnerships with key providers which enables us to provide other recommended services to our clients covering:

  • Financial Services;
  • Health Insurance and Staff Healthcare Benefits;
  • Health and Safety.

Visit our website to see full information on our partners and their services.