WALC facilitated a training update from Chris Moses on the latest changes to employment legislation. This new legislation, which comes into force April, sees the introduction of several new employment rights for parish council employees, namely: –

Redundancy and Maternity

Mums retiring from maternity leave have accrued new rights to be protected from being made redundant, from April 2024. Once an expectant mother informs the council that they are pregnant they automatically get first choice of any vacancies, should their post be at risk of redundancy. Similarly new mothers returning from maternity leave are entitled to first choice of any posts for up to 18 months after their child’s birth or adoption date, if their post is at risk of redundancy.

Where an employee suffers a miscarriage before 24 weeks of pregnancy, they will have protection during their pregnancy and for a two-week period following miscarriage. If they miscarry after 24 weeks of pregnancy this is classed as a still birth and they are entitled to maternity leave and will have the same protection as any other employee taking maternity leave.

Changes to Flexible Working Requests

The changes are: –

  • Employees can now make two (not one) flexible working requests in any 12-month period.
  • Requests must be dealt with by the council within two (not three) months of receipt of a request if no extension is agreed.
  • Councils are not able to refuse a request until they have consulted with the employee.
  • Employees will no longer, in their application, have to explain what effect the employee thinks agreeing to the request would have and how any such effect might be dealt with.