In this issue we look at some of the key employment and pension law developments over the past month. In particular, we examine: calls for reform of shared parental leave, the House of Lords Select Committee on COVID-19's report on employment rights for the digital age and hybrid working, the challenges and benefits of working at home during lockdown for neurodiverse individuals and the new Pension Schemes Act 2021 criminal offences going live this autumn.
Shared parental leave (SPL) was introduced six years ago and allows parents to share statutory leave and pay following the birth of a child. The idea behind SPL is that it is intended to give parents greater flexibility in how they care for their child in the first year. However, since its inception, the uptake of SPL has been very low, at around only 3-4% of eligible fathers.
The global pandemic has changed many things. One of the key changes has been the way that we work. In 2019, around 5% of people mainly worked from home. A year after the pandemic started, this number has jumped to around 35%. 74% of businesses plan to maintain more home working. With the government looking to encourage people back into the workplace, debate on this issue is set to continue.
Some people think and process information in ways that differ from the norm. Such neurodivergent individuals can bring unique strengths to the workplace and there is an onus on employers to make adjustments to ensure they can work effectively – whether in the office or from home. While adjustments should be tailored to the needs of each particular individual, we consider some steps to help integrate neurodiversity in the workforce.
Keen readers will recall that, in previous articles, we have highlighted changes for pensions introduced under the Pension Schemes Act 2021 (PSA). While we expect further legislation to add meat to the bones in many areas, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) has recently announced its intention for the new criminal offences brought in by the PSA and due to go live in the autumn.
In addition to this month's news, please do look at publications we have contributed to.
Editor's top pick of the news this month.