The case of R & R Plant (Peterborough) Limited v Bailey concerns a notice issued under the statutory procedure set out in the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 for employers intending to retire an employee at normal retirement age.
Although this procedure was abolished in April 2011, some employers will still be facing the risk of unfair dismissal and / or age discrimination claims where defective notices of retirement were issued prior to this date.
It was clear that an employer was required to notify the employee in writing of the employee’s right to request not to be retired. However, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that employers should have expressly stated that the employee had a right to request not to retire ‘pursuant to paragraph 5 of Schedule 6 of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006,’ so that the employee was aware that he was invoking a statutory procedure. If the notice failed to do so, then it is invalid and the dismissal will be unfair, although in most cases compensation will be limited due to employers being able to show that retirement is a fair reason for dismissal.
A Private Members Bill is seeking to give surrogate parents the same rights to pay, leave and benefits as natural and adoptive parents. Although there are only about 100 children born under surrogacy arrangements each year in the UK, numbers are increasing.
With effect from 11 May 2012, the Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005 were extended to cover self-employed drivers. This brings the limits on their working time into line with employed drivers.
The Government has announced that the annual limit for employer sponsored migrants under Tier 2 (General) will remain at 20,700 for the next two years until April 2014. The skill levels required for Tier 2 migrants, including intra-company transferees, will also be increased from NQF 4 to NQF 6 from 14 June 2012, except for those on the Shortage Occupation List and some creative occupations.
A series of reforms to the European Court of Human Rights has been agreed by all countries in the Council of Europe in the ‘Brighton Declaration’. These reforms include measures to ensure that the European Court of Human Rights only hears cases about very serious violations or important legal principles, and to reduce the time limit for claims from six months to four months. The Court currently has a backlog of 150,000 cases.