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Employment Law

Legal guidance - compliance - software

01 DEC 2009

December 2009 Legislation Update




Included in the Government's legislative programme for 2008/9

Equality Bill

The overall effect of what will become the single Equality Act is to consolidate all the current discrimination legislation into one Act. The Act will also, amongst other things, extend to positive action and outlaw age discrimination in the provision of goods and services.

The new Equality Act is not expected to come into force until 2010.


Temporary Agency Workers Directive

The CBI and TUC reached agreement that agency workers should receive equal rights to comparable permanent workers after 12 weeks. The text of the draft Temporary Workers Directive has been agreed in the Council of the European Union and approved by the European Parliament. The Directive must be implemented into UK law and take effect within three years.


Changes to the Working Time Directive

The 48-hour maximum working week opt-out still has to be approved by the Council of the European Union (following the European Parliament's vote to remove it), but new safeguards include preventing workers from opting out in the first month of employment, a cap of 60 working hours and measures relating to ‘active' and ‘inactive' call time.


Changes to the European Works Councils Directive

The proposed changes aim to increase the use of EWCs and address the lack of certainty currently found in some parts of the Directive. The proposed means to achieve this include new definitions of information and consultation, and an obligation that arrangements for informing and consulting employees must be defined and implemented to ensure the effectiveness of the procedure and decision making.

By April 2010

Work and Families Act 2006

The Government proposes to allow mothers to transfer paid leave to fathers. Additional paternity leave and pay will entitle employed fathers up to 26 weeks' additional paternity leave, some of which will be paid, if the mother returns to work.


Right to request training

A right to request training will be available for all employees who have been employed for not less than 26 weeks. The right will work in a similar way to the right to request flexible working. The Government is currently consulting on the details of the new right.

1 August 2012

Directive amending the Working Time Directive (No.2000/34)

Final date for full implementation of the Working Time Directive in relation to junior doctors. The 48-hour week will apply.


Pensions Act

The Pensions Act would give all jobholders aged over 22, earning more than £5,000 a year, access to a workplace pensions scheme with minimum employer contribution. The Bill proposes automatic enrolment into a qualifying scheme from 2012 and the introduction of the new personal accounts scheme for those employers who do not currently operate a pension scheme.


Education and Skills Bill

The Bill received Royal Asset on 26 November 2008 and obliges employers in England and Wales to release young people for education or training, and check whether a young person is participating in education or training before employing them.

This new duty to participate will start to come into force after 2013 and there are many details still to be specified in regulations and practice.



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