• Increased statutory holiday entitlement: the Government has published its response to the recent consultation on proposals to increase the statutory holiday entitlement, indicating its intention to increase entitlement to 4.8 weeks on 1 October 2007 but to delay the full increase to 5.6 weeks until April 2009. It is also proposed to allow payment in lieu of the initial increase (the additional 0.8 weeks) until 1 April 2009 which will assist employers with transitional arrangements. Seehere for the full response to the consultation and here for the draft regulations.
  • ACAS has updated its guidance on annual leave (See here).
  • Government consultation document on Single Equality Act - The Government has issued a Green Paper, Discrimination Law Review – A Framework for a Fairer Future: Proposals for a Single Equality Bill for Great Britain. The consultation document contains proposals for amendments to the law and the creation of a Single Equality Act. The consultation period closes on 4 September 2007 (See here).
  • ACAS has updated its guidance on maternity leave (See here).
  • DTI issues guides on pregnancy and work - the DTI has issued two guides on pregnancy and work, one aimed at employees, the other at employers. (See here and here).
  • DTI guidance on rolled up holiday pay - The DTI has further amended its guidance following the ECJ decision in Robinson-Steele v PD Retail Services to make clear that payments made by an employer prior to replacing its rolled-up holiday pay arrangements may be offset against future liabilities to make payments in respect of holidays. The DTI guidance now says: "Following a European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgment on 16 March 2006, (1) Rolled-Up Holiday Pay (RHP) is considered unlawful and payment for statutory annual leave should be made at a time when leave is taken.

Employers should have taken steps to renegotiate contracts involving RHP to eliminate this practice. Any payments in respect of annual leave, additional to wages or salary, made during this transitional period in a transparent and comprehensible manner, may be offset against and future liability to make payment in respect of annual leave, to avoid any overpayment of holiday pay."

  • The DTI is consulting on the freedom of trade unions to expel its members on the grounds of their political party membership following the European Court of Human Rights' judgment in ASLEF v The United Kingdom which concluded that the relevant provisions in the Employment Rights Act 1996 violated Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Consultation closes on 8 August 2007. Seehere.
  • The National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 (Amendment) Regulations 2007 will come into force on 1 October 2007 (subject to parliamentary approval). Standard rate (for workers aged 22 or over): £5.52 (rising from £5.35); development rate (for workers aged between 18 and 21): £4.60 (rising from £4.45); young workers rate (for workers aged under 18 but above the compulsory school age that are not apprentices): £3.40 (rising from £3.30). See here.