On Friday last week the government gave its backing to a new statutory right to neonatal leave and pay and reforms making it unlawful for employers to withhold tips from staff.

• The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill, introduced by Dean Russell MP, passed its second reading in Parliament last week.

• The Bill will make sure that all tips go to staff by making it unlawful for businesses to hold back service charges from their employees.

• Through the Bill, a new statutory Code of Practice will be developed to provide businesses and staff with advice on how tips should be distributed. Workers will also have a new right to request more information relating to an employer’s tipping record, enabling them to bring forward a credible claim to an employment tribunal.

• There is no timeframe for when this will be passed into law, although it is unlikely to happen for several months, maybe longer.

• The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill also passed its second reading in Parliament last week. Neonatal care leave will apply to parents of babies who are admitted to hospital up to the age of 28 days, and who have a continuous stay in hospital of 7 full days or more. This new right is not expected to come into force until 2024 at the earliest.

• There are many more stages for both Bills to go through before they come into effect. For now, employers should keep an eye on developments so that they can be prepared if these new rights are introduced.

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