Increasing annual leave under WTR: further consultation
The Government has announced proposals to increase workers' holiday entitlement from 20 days per year to 28 for full-time workers, so that workers will also be paid for leave on the eight bank holidays per year. Under the proposals statutory annual leave entitlement would be increased in two stages, rising to 4.8 weeks (24 days) on 1 October 2007, and 5.6 weeks (28 days) on 1 October 2008.
Flexible Working (Eligibility, Complaints and Remedies) (Amendment) Regulations 2006
The Work and Families Act 2006 will give those who care for adults the right to request flexible working. The Flexible Working (Eligibility, Complaints and Remedies) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 have now been published, and will come into force in April 2007. They will amend the Flexible Working (Eligibility, Complaints and Remedies) Regulations 2002 to widen the existing statutory right to request flexible working to cover those who care for certain adults. The definition will be extended to include employees who care for their spouse, their partner, a near relative or someone who lives at their address. As a result of the width of this definition the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) anticipates that 1.4 million carers will be eligible to request flexible working from April.
Rates of statutory payments and Tribunal Limits for 2007-08
HM Revenue & Customs has announced Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) rates for 2007-2008:
- The flat rates of SMP, SPP and SAP will increase to £112.75 per week from 1 April 2007;
- The flat rate of SSP will increase to £72.55 per week from 6 April 2007;
- The Unfair Dismissal basic award has been raised to a maximum of £9,300 (the weekly rate being £310);
- The Unfair Dismissal compensatory award has been raised to a maximum of £60,600.
National minimum wage enforcement policy published
In his Pre-Budget Report, the Chancellor announced that the Government will increase the resources devoted to national minimum wage enforcement. Employers who refuse to pay the minimum wage could now face a fine of at least £224.70 for defaulting on an enforcement notice which names one worker. The Government hopes that its policy will deter employers from failing to pay national minimum wage in the future, encourage employers to comply with an enforcement notice, and in doing so, persuade employers to pay arrears to workers.