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Employment Law

Legal guidance - compliance - software

12 DEC 2012

December 2012 Legislation Update

Date

Legislation

Details

October 2012

Pensions Act 2008

The Pensions Act will give all jobholders aged over 22, earning more than £7,475 a year (in 2011), access to a workplace pension scheme with minimum employer contributions. The Act will be phased in from October by size of employer. Employers will be required automatically to enrol ‘jobholders' into a pension scheme; jobholders will be free to opt out of membership once they have been enrolled; employers will be required to make minimum contributions to jobholders' pensions schemes; and stakeholder pension schemes will be abolished.

 

 

 

March 2013

Parental Leave Directive 2010/18/EU

The UK is required to bring into force the provisions of the Parental Leave Directive, which increases the minimum parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child from three to four months by March 2013 (this was initially going to be by March 2012, but the government has taken advantage of an additional year to implement the changes owing to the thorough review of parental leave that it is currently undertaking). The Directive requires that at least one of the four months will not be transferable between parents.

 

 

 

2013

Education and Skills Act 2008

The Act obliges employers in England and Wales to release young people for education or training, and to 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.

 

 

 

September 2012 (partially in force)

Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

As of 10 September 2012, there have been various changes to Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 has been amended, scaling back the definition of ‘regulated activity' to focus on those roles working most closely with vulnerable groups rather than on the setting in which the activity is required, or the personal characteristics or circumstances of the vulnerable person receiving the services.

The work of the CRB and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) is due to be merged into a single body, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) as of the start of December.

A new update service for criminal records checks will be implemented in 2013.

 

 

 

2013

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill provides for the implementation of various proposed reforms to the employment tribunal system. These include a mandatory period of pre-claim Acas conciliation; a ‘rapid resolution' scheme for certain simple or low-value tribunal claims; a power for tribunals to impose financial penalties on losing employers; and the renaming of compromise agreements as ‘settlement agreements'.

 

 

 

 

Public Service Pensions Bill

The Public Service Pensions Bill was introduced to Parliament on 13 September 2012. The Bill will implement the public-sector pensions reforms agreed with the Local Government Association and trade unions following publication of the Hutton Report in March 2011. The Bill will introduce new career average benefit pension schemes to replace existing final salary schemes and normal pension ages will be linked to state pension age. The NHS, teachers, Civil Service, fire-fighters, police and armed forces pension schemes will close to future accrual on 5 April 2015. The Local Government Pension Scheme will close to future accrual one year earlier on 1 April 2014. New public sector schemes will be established from those dates.

 

 

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