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  • HR Heartbeat: The UK receives ‘get into work’ funds, next week’s strike dates are revealed, and...

HR Heartbeat: The UK receives ‘get into work’ funds, next week’s strike dates are revealed, and...

Read HR Heartbeat to find out how new funding for six new projects could improve the job market. Plus, get the latest dates for rail strikes disrupting your staff’s commute, and more!

First published on Friday, Sep 22, 2023

Last updated on Friday, Sep 22, 2023

3 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business, plus get up-to-the-minute commentaries on all things HR and legal.

UK gov receives £12.4 million for studies on endometriosis, obesity and more…

New funding has been announced by the government for six new projects to better understand the employment barriers people face in the UK.

Projects include:

  • Researching the effect endometriosis has on women’s work choices.
  • How programmes to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes can improve workforce participation.
  • And a new pilot to address barriers 18 to 24-year-olds who live in supported housing face in employment.

Scottish school strikes

After the latest pay deal was rejected, non-teaching staff in schools across 26 Scottish councils will strike for three days from Tuesday 26 September to Thursday 28 September.

These strikes mean 3 out of 4 primary and secondary schools face temporary closure…

As these strikes have been announced in advance, working parents should have plenty of opportunity to make childcare arrangements. But it never hurts to stay prepared for last-minute parental leave and annual leave requests!

UK rail strikes

Rail services in England will also be affected as Aslef members at 16 train companies go on strike on Saturday 30 September and Wednesday 4 October.

There will also be an overtime ban affecting the trains on Friday 29 September and for five days from Monday 2 October to Friday 6 October which means a high probability of last-minute cancellations and delays…

Using a time-keeping app is a great way to stay in the loop if your staff are running late and stop strikes from running your business off-track. Learn more about the benefits of having a clocking-in and out system, like Blip.

The Scottish Programme for Government

The Scottish Programme for Government is published every year at the start of September to set out the actions they’ll take in the coming year.

Plans have been set in motion to:

  • Make sure people who experience miscarriage or stillbirth receive three days of paid leave.
  • Increase the number of employers who pay at least the real living wage.
  • Introduce a four-day working week pilot in the public sector by the end of 2023.

As we know employment law moves and changes fast so it’s important to stay up to date!

Labour refuses to call off the dogs—the watchdog that is!

The Labour party has promised to hand more power to Britain’s economic watchdog if they win the next election. This comes after Liz Truss’s mini-budget, which was delivered without OBR analysis, led to the fall of the pound.

Speaking at the TUC Congress, Angela Raynor (Deputy Leader of the Labour Party), also pledged to bring forward an Employment Rights Bill within 100 days of entering office.

She promised to repeal anti-trade union laws such as the minimum service levels bill, which was proposed by the government to set a minimum number of employees that are required to work during strikes.

Labour also promised to give trade unions a new legal, reasonable right to access a workplace, as they can in Australia, New Zealand, and the Nordic states.

And that’s a wrap. Tune in next week for more headlines and make sure you stay ahead of major employment law changes!

Have more questions on this topic? We have 11,000+ answers to all your HR and health & safety dilemmas on BrightLightning.

How can I help my employees navigate the planned rail strikes?

It’s up to employees to get to work on time but occasionally, they may experience problems here because of something outside of their control like rail or tube strikes.

There could be a result of direct effects like an employee who normally travels to work by train/tube not being able to travel by train/tube, and indirect effects like the roads being busier because more people drive to work on the day of a strike or those who normally travel by bus may not be able to get on the bus at their normal time because it is already full because of the overflow of commuters. Some employees may wish to book annual leave for the day to avoid the problem entirely so you could consider stretching your normal annual leave caps.

Alternatively, you could agree to a change in the start or finish time for the day in question to accommodate an employee who can only get to work later than normal. You could also agree to use some banked time off in lieu to cover the lateness or agree that the employee makes up their time elsewhere so there is no reduction in pay for the day. Working from home may also be a consideration where this is possible.

What support can I offer an employee with endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition that affects women and those assigned female at birth. The lining of the womb begins to grow on other organs outside of the womb and can cause debilitating effects on the person. For example, sufferers can experience chronic pelvic and lower back pain, pain when using the toilet, heavy periods, problems getting pregnant, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, nausea, and fatigue.

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