January 2007

12 January

Consultation: Holidays

Second consultation of proposed extension of statutory holiday entitlement from four weeks to 4.8 weeks (24 days) by 1 October 2007 and to 5.6 (28 days) by 1 October 2008 published.

20 January

Directors’ Duties

Section 463 Companies Act 2006 comes into force, setting out when a director will be personally liable in relation to the directors’ report, the directors’ remuneration report and any summary financial statements. Note liability is only to the company and not to shareholders or potential investors.

February 2007

1 February

Tribunal Awards

Annual increase in tribunal award limits. The new limits include (current figures in brackets):

  • a week's pay: £310 (£290)
  • maximum basic award £9,300 (8,700)
  • maximum compensatory award: £60,600 (£58,400)

Note: The increases apply where the ‘appropriate date’ occurs on or after 1 February (e.g. for unfair dismissal the ‘effective date of termination’) and not the date of the corresponding tribunal hearing.

For full list see Compensation Limits Fact Card

April 2007

1 Apri

Maternity & Adoption Leave and Pay Changes to the provisions on maternity and adoption leave and pay, which came into force on 1 October 2006 in relation to employees whose expected week of childbirth/ placement for adoption is on or after 1 April, now fully in operation. (Remember these could apply to an employee commencing maternity leave as early as week of 14 January 2007).

These include:

  • Extension of paid leave from six to nine months;
  • Removal of the qualifying criteria for AML/AAL;
  • Extension of notice periods for return to work to eight weeks;
  • Introduction of ‘keeping in touch’ days.
  • Concept of reasonable contact.

Maternity, Paternity & Adoption Pay

The standard rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will rise to £112.75 per week (previously £108.85). The earnings threshold will also rise to £87 per week (previously £84).

Statutory Sick Pay

The standard rate of statutory sick pay will rise to £72.55 per week (previously £70.05).

6 April

Flexible Working

The right to request flexible working extended to ‘carers’ of adults.

Sex Discrimination

The public sector ‘Gender Equality Duty’ is introduced. This places a general duty on public authorities to have due regard, in carrying out their functions, to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity between men and women.

The duty also applies to charities, voluntary and private sector organisations that are providing a public service (in so far as those functions are concerned).

Age Discrimination

Amendments to address “technical glitches” such as removal of the default fixed conciliation period of 13 weeks under the Tribunal Rules applying to age claims to bring it in line with other forms of discrimination law.

Employee Consultation

The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 come into force in relation to employers with 100+ employees.

Pensions Employee Consultation

The Occupational Pension Schemes (Consultation by Employers) (Modification for Multi-employer Schemes) Regulations 2006 come into force for businesses employing more than 100 employees.