A Year Like No Other has Dawned – What Will It Bring?

A Year Like No Other has Dawned – What Will It Bring?

This new year heralds probably of some of the greatest changes in the UK for decades. The big issue is of course Brexit and the affect it will have on a huge range of issues in our lives.

However, there are many other Bills due to go through parliament this year. Below we have resumed some to look out for that may affect you as an employer of domestic staff.

Sealing of individuals’ criminal records.

Individuals’ criminal records could be sealed from employers as part of a series of recommendations made in an independent review of the treatment of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals in the criminal justice system.

The review recommends that there should be a presumption to look favourably on those who committed crimes either as children or young adults but can demonstrate that they have changed since their conviction.

Over the past five years 127,000 children, including 22,000 BAME, have had their names added to the national police computer database. These, say the review, cover a wide range of offences, including minor offences, involving a police caution or reprimand.

Possible changes to Zero-Hours Contracts

If you already employ, or are considering employing domestic and household staff on a so-called “zero-hours” contract, then you will need to keep up-to-date with possible changes for those working on this regime.

A forthcoming review reportedly suggests that those on such contracts be given the right to request a move to a fixed number of hours so their work pattern and earnings are more predictable.


A suggested new deal which may be offered to fathers by the government would, of course, apply to the male partners of your domestic/household staff if it is accepted.

The suggestion comes from the UK’s equality watchdog, The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and would see fathers offered a Father’s Leave deal on a “use it or ‘lose it” basis.

The EHRC says that this will help ensure that fathers take off a substantial amount of time with their newborn. This paternity leave would be ring-fenced and could not be switched to their partner. They hope this will also help tackle the gender pay gap.

Paid Leave For Grieving Parents May Soon Be Law

Parents who suffer the death of a child may soon have the statutory right to paid leave. This will affect every employer including, of course, those of domestic/household staff.

The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill will give grieving parents paid leave, taking them away from the workplace in this difficult time. It will continue the government’s aim “to enhance rights and protections in the workplace”

At present, employers do not legally have to grant paid leave to parents in this situation.

New Legislation On Work Experience Payment

A bill currently going through parliament will lay down new regulations on payment for work experience. This will obviously extend to any such work undertaken regarding household, gardening or seasonal activity.

Titled the Unpaid Work Experience (Prohibition) Bill [HL] 2017-19 it will prohibit non-payment for work-experience which exceeds four continuous or non-continuous weeks.


The Graham Agency, keeping you informed.