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2022: Changes to UK Law to be Prepared for in the New Year

Another year over means new changes are on the horizon. Here’s what you need to be aware of for 2022.

The Right to Request Flexible Working

Flexible and remote working has become more and more common over the past year or so, and in 2021, proposals to extend flexible working rights were published in a Government consultation document.

As well as showing that the aim is to make flexible working the default where possible, the document looks at whether the right to request flexible working should exist from “day one” of a job. However, there’s not a lot of change proposed to the approval process, and the proposals don’t actually suggest flexible working should be mandatory.

The consultation closed on 1 December 2021 so an outcome should be seen during 2022. It’s possible that more information could be released in the highly-anticipated Employment Bill.

A Toolkit for Employers to Tackle Sexual Harassment in January 2022

While it is not a change in the law per se, a recent report issued by the Fawcett Society has identified some significant failings within the workplace, in spite of recent efforts to ensure a fairer and safer environment – particularly for women and LGBT employees.

In fact, according to the report, 40% of women experience sexual harassment in the workplace, along with more than two thirds of LGBT employees.

The report will offer the foundations of a new toolkit for employers to transform their approach to ending sexual harassment in the workplace.

No Fault Divorce Coming in April 2022

A landmark change for couples wishing to approach their divorce as amicably as possible has finally been given the go ahead for this coming April. Under the new ruling, couples will be able to apply for a divorce without one needing to appoint blame to the other.

For so many years, the facts for granting a divorce have been predicated on the idea that one member of a failed marriage is responsible for its failure, and couples who did not wish to feel as though they are pointing the finger at one another have to wait several years before they can apply.

A new no fault divorce will make the process of ending a marriage faster, and make it easier for couples – particularly those with children – to remain on good terms.

Big Changes on the Horizon for the Trust Registration Service by September 2022

Until now, the job of registering a trust with HMRC’s Trust Registration Service only fell on trustees whose trusts are required to pay tax. Now, however, new changes mean that the majority of trustees must register their trust with HMRC – and do so within 30 days of its creation – regardless of tax status.

This also means that trustees need to take the initiative to update HMRC of any changes as and when they arise.

Existing trusts need to be registered by September 2022, unless they are not classified as ‘express trusts’. The best thing to do is to enlist the expert advice of a solicitor like www.willans.co.uk, who hold extensive experience in asset protection and trusts.

Global Business Mobility Route Launching in Spring 2022

Transferring employees into the UK has grown increasingly complex over the years, but the government plans to streamline the application process. The ‘Global Business Mobility Route’ is a key part of the roadmap put forth by the Home Office, and is intended to help overseas businesses seeking to establish a presence in the UK.

The new sponsorship system will make it easier for overseas businesses to assign and manage workers coming to the UK, where the work can’t be undertaken by somebody already based within the country.

An Extension for Restrictions that Protect Commercial Tenants

Introduced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the current restrictions imposed on commercial landlords preventing them from pursuing remedial action against tenants unable to keep on top of rent payments is set to remain in place until 25th March 2022. Similarly, landlords remain banned from seizing their tenants’ property under CRAR until the same date.

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