Equality Act guidance published - The Department for Communities and Local Government has published guidance on Parts 2 and 3 of the Equality Act 2006, which deal with measures to outlaw discrimination. Part 2 deals with discrimination on grounds of religion or belief, and Part 3 relates to sexual orientation discrimination.
DTI consultation on additional statutory paternity leave and pay - the DTI has issued a further consultation paper on the implementation of statutory paternity leave and pay, which is intended to be implemented in two years time. The scheme allows mothers to pass some of their statutory maternity leave (and pay) to fathers if the mothers want to return to work during either OML or AML. This is likely to prove popular with families where the mother earns substantially more than the father. The government proposes to allow fathers to 'self-certify' that their child's mother is returning to work early and passing maternity entitlements over to them. He will be required to give eight weeks' notice. Consultation on the implementation of the scheme closes on 3rd August 2007.
Amended guidance on Working Time Regulations - the DTI has published amended guidance on the Working Time Regulations, taking into account the criticism by the ECJ in relation to rest breaks in Commission v UK (C-484/04). In Commission v UK (C-484/04), the ECJ held that the DTI guidance on the Working Time Regulations was in breach of EU law in telling employers that they did not have to ensure that workers take daily rest breaks. Section 6 of the guidance dealing with rest breaks has now been amended and simply states: 'Employers must make sure that workers can take their rest breaks'. The offending words 'but are not required to make sure they do take their rest' have now been removed.
Directors: Institute of Directors consultation - draft guidance on directors' duties regarding health and safety at work: on 14 May 2007, the Institute of Directors published, for consultation, draft guidance on directors' responsibilities regarding health and safety at work. The draft guidance is designed for use by directors, governors, trustees, officers and their equivalents in the private, public and voluntary sectors, and applies to organisations of all sizes. The IoD was asked to prepare the draft guidance by the Health and Safety Commission. The IoD plans to prepare, in due course, a specific version of the guidance aimed at smaller entities. The closing date for comments is 22 June 2007.