Two new Proposed Government Bills Your Payroll Team Need to Know About

With the rapidly changing nature of the payroll industry, new and updated government legislation can have an immediate effect on the day-to-day processing and management of your staff and client payroll operations.

For that reason, it’s important to maintain foresight of what’s to come in the future. Here are two bills in UK Parliament at the moment that could change the landscape in the coming years:

graphic describing importance of payroll legislation

The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill was first proposed in summer of 2022 and stated that an estimated 100,000 babies every year are admitted to neonatal care in the United Kingdom following their birth. Successful passage of the bill would introduce two new rights:

  • neonatal care leave
  • statutory neonatal care pay

These new rights would serve to protect and support employed parents at one of the most stressful and crucial periods of their lives. The government has confirmed the right to neonatal leave would be a day-one right, available to all employees. It would apply to parents of children who spend at least one week in neonatal care. In addition, there will be a right for parents to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave, in additional to other leave entitlements, if their baby is in neonatal care. Employees with at least 26 weeks’ continuous service and whose weekly earnings are at or above the lower earnings limit (currently £123 per week) will be applicable. The second reading of the Bill in the House of Lords is yet to be announced. The new rights would apply to England, Scotland, and Wales but not Northern Ireland where employment law is a devolved matter.

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill would provide protection from redundancy during or after pregnancy, or after periods of maternity, adoption, or shared parental leave. Evidence reported as part of the investigation stated that new parents were facing prejudice in the workplace, with an estimated 54,000 new parents feeling they had to leave their jobs due to pregnancy or maternity discrimination each year. Under current rules, employers are obliged to offer employees on maternity, shared parental or adoption leave an available alternative post, as a priority over anyone else who is provisionally selected for redundancy. The new bill proposes to extend redundancy protection to cover pregnant employees from when they tell the employer they are pregnant, until 18 months after the birth. The 18-month window ensures that a mother returning from a year of maternity leave can receive six months’ additional redundancy protection. It will also apply to adoption leave and shared parental leave.

The bill is due to be further reported on later this month and if progressed would help protect new parents and expectant mothers from workplace discrimination, offering them greater job security at an important time in their lives.