A quick summary of the legislative changes from the last six months of 2021.
21 July 2021: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
The government published its response to the 2019 consultation on workplace sexual harassment. The response confirmed that the government will introduce a new duty for employers to prevent sexual harassment and third-party harassment in the workplace, and that it will look closely at the possibility of extending the time limit for all claims under the Equality Act 2010.
30 September 2021: Furlough Scheme
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme) came to an end.
27 October 2021: Autumn Budget 2021
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered the Autumn 2021 Budget
19 November 2021: UK Data Protection Laws
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) consultation on proposals to reform the UK’s data protection laws closed. This included a proposal as to a fee structure being introduced for access to personal data held by controllers.
1 December 2021: Making flexible working the default
The government consultation on Making flexible working the default, closed.
14 December 2021: Human Rights Act 1998
The MoJ published a consultation on reforming the Human Rights Act 1998 and replacing it with a Bill of Rights. The consultation closes on 8 March 2022.
16 December 2021: Disability Workforce Reporting
The government launched a consultation on disability workforce reporting, which closes on 25 March 2022. A response is due by 17 June 2022.
What to expect in 2022
January 2022: Data protection Act 2018 / Immigration Exemption
The government laid Data Protection Act 2018 (Amendment of Schedule 2 Exemptions) Regulations 2022 (SI 2022) before Parliament on 10 December 2021, which will need to come into force before the end of January 2022.
This amends the Immigration Exemption (exempts any controller from complying with certain data protection provisions where personal data is processed for the maintenance of effective immigration control) in Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the DPA 2018, following the Court of Appeal judgment of 26 May 2021, where it was held that the Immigration Exemption was incompatible with Article 23 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)), and therefore unlawful.
1 April 2022: National minimum Wage
The new rates of national minimum wage and national living wage will come into force.
Mid 2022: DWP Green Paper
A White Paper is expected in mid-2022 on future support for disabled people and those with health conditions.
The DWP Green Paper on shaping future support for health and disability was published on 21 July 2021, which outlined proposals aimed at helping the above live more independently, including through work and the benefits system.