On 1 April 2007:
· The basic rate of statutory maternity pay increased from £108.85 to £112.75 per week as did the rate of statutory paternity pay, maternity allowance, statutory adoption pay.
On 2 April 2007:
· Under The Health Act 2006 smoking in enclosed public spaces in Wales was banned. Similar legislation has been in force in Scotland for just over a year now and will come into force in Northern Ireland at the end of the month and England on 1 July 2007.
On 6 April 2007:
· Statutory sick pay increased from £70.05 to £72.55 per week.
· A duty commonly referred to as the “Gender Equality Duty” was introduced under Part 3 of the Equality Act 2006 which amends the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 to place a statutory duty on all public authorities to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment and promote equality of opportunity between men and women. The Equal Opportunities Commission Code of Practice on the Gender Equality Duty also came into force on this day.
· The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulation was extended to cover employers with 100 of more employees. Previously the Regulations only affected employers with 150 or more employees. The Regulations will be further extended to cover employers with 50 or more employees from 6 April 2008.
· Under the Flexible Working (Eligibility, Complaints and Remedies) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 the right to request flexible working has been extended to carers of certain categories of adults.
On 30 April 2007:
· Regulations and Part 2 of the Equality Act 2006 will intorduce protection against discrimination in the provision of goods and services on the grounds of religion or belief and sexual orientation. In addition the Equality Act 2006 will amend the definition of "any religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief" of the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations by removing the word "similar". Therefore, those of no religion or belief will be protected agaisnt discrimination and the scope of what might be regarded as a philosophical belief will be widened