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Forthcoming employment legislation and what it means to employers

Transitional provisions for abolition of default retirement age
From 6 April 2011, employers will be prohibited from issuing new notifications of retirement using the statutory retirement procedure.  See below about new legislation relating to retirement after 1 October 2011.

Additional paternity leave and pay available
Additional 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 3 April 2011.  Employers will need to consider the potential impact on their business and plan ahead.

Maternity, paternity and adoption pay are increased
The standard rates of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increased from £124.88 to £128.73 per week from 3 April 2011. Statutory sick pay increased from £79.15 to £81.60 per week from 6 April 2011.  Employers will need to amend their current procedures to reflect this change and account for the additional cost they may incur.

Default retirement age to be completely abolished
The default retirement age abolished completely, and employers are prohibited from retiring employees in reliance on the default retirement age on or after 1 October 2011.  Employers should seek advice about how to plan for and manage the effect of this significant change
New rules on equal treatment for agency workers
The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 entitle agency workers to equal treatment on basic employment conditions after 12 calendar weeks in a given job, including pay and holidays.   Employers should seek advice about how to handle this change with the aim of minimising disruption to their operations and cost.


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