30 September 2008

With... key employment law changes


1 October 2008

Companies Act 2006

Various provisions of the Act come into force governing general duties of directors on: conflicts of interest; and declarations of an interest in an existing transaction or arrangement.

National Minimum Wage

  • Adult rate increases from £5.52 to £5.73
  • Development rate increases from £4.60 to £4.77
  • Young workers rate increases from £3.40 to £3.53
  • Accommodation offset rate increases from £4.30 to £4.46

Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) (Amendment) Regulations 2008

These regulations remove a requirement for employers to retain their employer liability insurance certificate for 40 years. They also amend the requirement to display the certificate, so employers can make it available electronically.

5 October 2008

Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (Amendment) Regulations 2008 and Maternity and Parental Leave etc Regulations 2008

Women whose expected week of childbirth begins on or after 5 October 2008 will have the right to the same terms and conditions during Additional Maternity Leave as they currently enjoy during Ordinary Maternity Leave. This will affect benefits such as company cars, gym membership, childcare vouchers and holiday accrual. Pension rules remain unchanged.

Paternity and Adoption Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2008

Employees who adopt on or after 5 October 2008 will have the right to the same terms and conditions during Additional Adoption Leave as they currently enjoy during Ordinary Adoption Leave. This will affect benefits such as company cars, gym membership, childcare vouchers and holiday accrual. Pension rules remain unchanged.

27 October 2008

Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) (Amendment) Regulations 2008

These regulations amend the law to entitle agency workers on contracts of less than three months to SSP. They are currently excluded from the right to claim SSP.

1 November 2008

Points based immigration system – Tiers 2 and 5

The Government will introduce Tiers 2 and 5 of the points-based immigration system on 1 November 2008. Tier 2 applies to skilled migrants who are coming to the UK to fill a gap in the UK labour market and who already hold job offers. Tier 5 applies to temporary travellers to the UK who are coming primarily for non-business reasons.The UK Border Agency has produced codes of practice on Tier 2 applications together and has revised its guidance for employers.

UK Border Agency | Codes of practice for the sponsored skilled workers tier

UK Border Agency | Guidance for sponsor applications – Tiers 2, 4 and 5

and in April and October next year…

April 2009

Employment Bill

Key changes will come into force, including repeal of the statutory dispute resolution procedures and a new ACAS Code of Practice on discipline and grievances at work.

Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2007

Statutory annual leave entitlement will increase from 4.8 weeks (24 days for full-timers) to 5.6 weeks (28 days for full-timers) 

October 2009

Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

The Act will introduce a centralised vetting, accreditation and barring system for people working with children and vulnerable adults.

April 2010 (at the earliest)

Work and Families Act

The Government intends to introduce Additional Paternity Leave and to extend paid maternity leave to 12 months. It also intends that some of this Additional Maternity Leave will be transferable from the mother to the father.

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