Acas guidance on references, parental bereavement leave, and Brexit: workplace rights technical notice are all covered in this month's Employment Law Update Quick fire items.

Acas guidance on references

Acas has published new, basic guidance on employment references. It covers the question of whether an employer is required to provide a reference, what a reference can include and whether an employer can give a bad reference. It also suggests what options are available to job applicants who are unhappy with the reference provided. The guidance is available on the Acas website.

Parental Bereavement Leave

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 was granted Royal Assent on 13 September 2018, introducing a new statutory right to a period of paid leave in the event of the death of a child under the age of 18. The right will be to a minimum period of two weeks’ leave, paid at the statutory rate for those with a sufficient period of qualifying service, to be taken within 56 days of the child’s death. It is likely to come into force in 2020, on a date yet to be determined. There will be a further consultation on the practicalities of taking the leave, to be set out in separate regulations.

Brexit: workplace rights technical notice

The Government has published a technical notice on workplace rights, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The notice is part of a series aimed at UK businesses and citizens on how to prepare for the situation if the UK and the EU fail to conclude a draft withdrawal agreement by the time of the UK’s exit from the EU on 29 March 2019.

According to the notice, in the event of a no-deal Brexit there will be minimal change to UK legislation derived from EU law. Amendments will be necessary to the wording of the legislation to reflect the fact that the UK is no longer an EU country, but existing employment rights will be unchanged. There may be some impact for UK and EU employees working in an EU country for a UK employer, in the event of the employer’s insolvency. There will also be implications for UK businesses and trade unions with European Works Council agreements in place.