Employment Law Calendar 2011

Additional Paternity Leave and Pay

Additonal paternity leave and pay allows fathers to benefit from up to 26 weeks’ additional paternity leave if the mother returns to work before using her full entitlement to statutory maternity leave. The new right is available to parents of children with an expected week of childbirth beginning on or after 3rd April 2011.

Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Pay Increased

The standard rates of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will increase from £124.88 to £128.73 per week from 3rd April 2011. Statutory sick pay will also increase from £79.15 to £81.60 per week from 6th April 2011.

Transitional provisions for abolition of default retirement age

From 6th April, employers will be prohibited from issuing new notifications of retirement using the statutory retirement procedure, and notifications issued before this date must relate only to employees whose retirement dates fall before 1st October 2011.

Right to request flexible working extended to parents of children under 18.

On 6th April 2011, the right to request flexible working will be extended to parents of children aged under 18 (it currently applies to parents of children aged under 17, or 18 if the child has a disability)

Positive actions provisions in the Equality Act 2010

From 6th April 2011, the Equality Act 2010 will allow employers, in defined circumstances, to recruit or promote a person with one protected characteristic  in preference to another who does not have the protected characteristic, provided that they are equally qualified for the post.

 Right to make a request in relation to training may be extended to all employees

The right for employees to make a request in relation to study or training, which currently applies to employees in organisations with 250 or more employees, is due to be extended to all employees from 6th April 2011. However, the Government is reviewing the legislation so this extension is in doubt.

New corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery

The Bribery Act 2010 will introduce a corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery by persons working on behalf of a business, which comes into force in April 2011.

Default retirement age to be completely abolished

The default retirement age will be abolished completely after a six-month transitional period, and emploers will be prohibited from retiring employees in reliance on the default retirement age on or after 1stOctober 2011.

New rules on equal treatment of agency workers

The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 will entitle agency workers to equal treatment on basic employment conditions after 12 calender weeks in a given job, including pay and holidays.

National minimum wage rise

The national minimum wage may rise on 1st October 2011, subject to the prevailing economic conditions and the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations to be delivered to the Government in February 2011