Your round-up of the stories that you should discuss at interview this week.
- Family Law
Reported by Sarah Mullane
The Parental Bereavement Bill
Following its initial proposal in July 2017, the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill has now been published by the government and is intended to come into force by 2020. This bill seeks to grant bereaved parents, who have lost a child under the age of 18, two weeks’ statutory paid leave.
Though the concept itself is not new, this is the first time that a proposal has been successfully read twice in the House of Commons, with the bill now to stand committed to a Public Bill Committee. Will Quince, the conservative MP who brought forward original proposals in 2016, has said he is “forever indebted” to colleague Kevin Hollinrake for bringing forward the Bill this year.
Most employers usually have policies offering compassionate leave to those who suffer bereavement, however, statutory rights do not adequately cover these situations, with most people entitled to only a “reasonable” amount of unpaid time off work for emergencies. The new bill will provide employed parents with a legal right to two week’s paid leave so that they may grieve away from work and make any necessary arrangements. Details of the new right have been outlined in the draft bill, which includes: protection from detriment, redundancy and dismissal as a result of taking leave; the right to leave being limited to within 56 days of the child’s death; and entitlement to leave in respect of each child, if more than one has died.
Further details in respect to this bill will be published in due course, with regulations expected to provide information such as the conditions as to employment terms and conditions, and procedures needed in order to obtain leave.
- Technology/Banking Law
Reported by Anna Flaherty
Financial Conduct Authority to investigate Equifax due to a data breach
Equifax, a credit rating firm, recently suffered a large data loss and is now being looked at by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The firm has said it has been hit by two criminal cyber-attacks over the summer, and has said that it welcomes the investigation by the FCA in order to learn lessons from these attacks.
15.2 million UK customers were affected by the breach, with nearly 700,000 of these individuals losing sensitive data. This included names, birth dates, card details. driving licence numbers and credit accounts. A further 143 million customers have been affected in the US.
The FCA has decided to investigate following suggestions that Equifax has violated the terms of its UK licence. The UK watchdog will also consider whether or not UK customers should be compensated for the loss of their data. The FCA decided to disclose this information in light of the public interest involved.
- Human Rights Law
Reported by Jutha Cheewat
UK government lobbies for transgender rights but accepts the term ‘pregnant women’ in the UN treaty
Campaigners in the UK, supported the British Medical Association, have called for the Government to replace the term ‘pregnant women’ with ‘pregnant people’ as the current expression excludes transgender and intersex men.
The UK government, however, said it has lobbied for transgender rights in the UN treaty but had not specifically objected to the aforementioned term.
According to the report last week, the Foreign office had written to the UN urging to make changes to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in relation to the death penalty which states that it “shall not be carried out on pregnant women”.
The Foreign Office spokeswoman said it had not asked for the word ‘women’ to be changed. She said that “the UK does not object to the use of the term” and that “we strongly support the right to life of pregnant women, and we have requested that the human rights committee does not exclude pregnant transgender people from that right to life.”
That said, Theresa May pledged to the media at the Pink News awards dinner that she has plans to let people officially change gender without medical checks and that she is committed to improving transgender rights:
“We have laid out plans to reform the gender recognition act, streamlining and demedicalising the process for changing gender because being trans is not an illness and it should not be treated as such.”
Read more here.