BERR has published its statement of commencement dates (26 page PDF) for 2009, in which legislative changes due to take place on the common commencement dates of 6 April and 1 October 2009 are set out. The statement includes the following employment related provisions:

Changes on 1 April 2009

The minimum annual leave entitlement under the Working Time Regulations 1998 increases to 5.6 weeks. Please see our holiday calculator to work out an employee's minimum statutory entitlement where the holiday year does not begin on 1 April 2009.

Changes on 6 April 2009

  • Employment Act 2008: the statutory disciplinary and grievance procedures are repealed. In addition the provisions of the Employment Act relating to enforcement of the National Minimum Wage and changes to trade union membership law come into force.
  • Flexible working: the proposed extension of the right to request flexible working to parents of children aged 16 and over is intended to come into force.
  • Tribunal procedure: regulations amending tribunal procedure relating to the overriding objective, applications for extending time limits and dismissal of claims settled by ACAS come into force.

Changes on 1 October 2009

  • National Minimum Wage rates: the National Minimum Wage rates will change on 1 October, but the figures have not yet been published.
  • Amendments to the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003: the Government plans a consultation for changes to these regulations. It proposes to:
  1. reduce levels of checks for workers supplied for permanent recruitment by employment agencies, in order to reduce the administrative burden on agencies; and
  2. either remove or tighten up the payment of up-front fees charged by entertainment and modelling agencies to stop abuse by rogue agencies on vulnerable workers.

Any changes to the legislation as a result of the consultation will take place on 1 October 2009.