It has been hard to keep pace with Government announcements on the employment law front in the last two weeks. Here is a summary of the situation as at 31 March:

Coming soon

  • the new additional paternity leave regime (applies from 3 April)
  • the new general public sector equality duty (from 5 April, not, for what it’s worth, 6 April as previously announced). The Government is still considering the exact requirements and timing of the supplementary specific duties it will be imposing on public authorities.
  • the repeal of the default retirement age (from 6 April, subject to transitional provisions)
  • the Bribery Act (1 July)  


  • the extension of the right to request flexible working arrangements to parents of 17-year-olds (not coming in as planned on 6 April)
  • the extension of the right to request time off to train to employees at smaller organisations (also previously due to be introduced in 6 April)
  • the two tier code for local authority contracting (withdrawn on 23 March)

Existing rights under review

  • the fair deal provisions which protect the pension rights of public sector workers on transfer to the private sector
  • the third party harassment provisions in the Equality Act, which impose liability on employers for actions of non-employees in certain circumstances