Chester 01244 405555

Grosvenor Court
Foregate Street Chester
Cheshire CH1 1HG
DX: 19990 Chester

Shrewsbury 01743 443 043

Lakeside House
Oxon Business Park
Shrewsbury SY3 5HJ
DX: 148563 Shrewsbury 14

Manchester 0844 800 8346

Pall Mall Court
61-67 King Street
Manchester M2 4PD

Send us a message
Our Offices

What’s In Store for 2011?

8th January, 2011

2010 saw a number of significant changes in the world of employment law. Arguably, the most significant of these was The Equality Act 2010, which proved a major consolidation and harmonisation of existing discrimination law. The majority of the provisions of the Act came into force in October, despite the new Government being elected in May. Since the election, the Coalition Government has been outlining their plans for the country, including a number of reforms likely to affect employers in 2011.

Flexible Working
The Government has announced that the right to flexible working will be extended from 18 April 2011, to include all employees with children under 18 (the right currently extends only to those with children under 17). We are still waiting for the outcome of the consultation as to how this will be extended in practice.

Limits on Tribunal Awards
The limits, which include the compensatory award for unfair dismissal and the maximum amount of ‘week’s pay’ (used to calculate redundancy pay amongst other things), will increase from 1 February 2011. For more information, see ‘Maximum Tribunal Awards to Increase’ in this month’s edition of The Tribunal.

Additional Paternity Leave and Pay
The Government had announced that the regulations which outline employer’s obligations in respect of paternity pay and leave were under consideration, but shortly after this announcement, the Government then confirmed that the regulations would remain whilst they looked at the extension to flexible working (see above) and ways to encourage shared parenting during pregnancy.

Unfair Dismissal
As previously reported by The Tribunal, it has been suggested that the qualifying period for unfair dismissal be extended from one year, to two years. Lord Young (who was heading the relevant review into small businesses) resigned late last year, and we have yet to see how his resignation will affect the proposal.

Time Off to Train
August 2010 saw the launch of a consultation on the right to request time off to undergo training. The right (which already applies to those employers with more than 250 employees) allows employees to ask for time off to train or study, but there is a great scope for employers to refuse the request and the time off may be unpaid. It is expected that the right will apply to all employers with 50 or more employees from 6 April 2011.

The Government has proposed to abolish the default retirement age from 1 October 2011. The outcome of the government consultation on these proposals is expected early this year.

Bribery Act 2010
This piece of legislation will be coming into force on 1 April 2011 and looks set to completely reform the law in relation to bribery by creating new criminal and civil penalties.

The act is particularly important from an employment law perspective because of the introduction of a new offence where an organisation fails to prevent bribery offences committed on its behalf by a person ‘associated’ with it. A ‘person associated’ will include employees and may also stretch to subcontractors and workers.

If you are in any way concerned about how the forthcoming changes might affect your business, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team.

You might also be interested in...

Solicitors’ Professional Indemnity Insurance: Run-off and alternative regulators

18th July, 2018

Special Focus: Solicitors’ Professional Indemnity Insurance Run-off – it dominates the thoughts of sole practitioners and partners in smaller law firms in my experience and restricts the ambitions of firms. The SRA could help law firms by relaxing their rules on run-off cover on their Solicitors’ Professional Indemnity Insurance to help firms merge or close more easily. This would protect... Read More »

Senior employment lawyer joins Theatr Clwyd board

17th July, 2018

Helen Watson, Head of Employment Law at Aaron & Partners LLP, has taken up an invitation to become a Trustee of both the Trust Board and the Main Board Theatr Clwyd has bolstered its senior leadership team with the appointment of an experienced employment law solicitor to support its vision of being at the forefront of theatre making... Read More »

Why there is more to CSR than just boosting a company’s ego

6th July, 2018

When a business invests in its community it deserves praise – but it must go beyond that, writes Helen Watson, a trustee at Claire House and partner at Aaron and Partners Solicitors. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the link between a company and the community in which it operates. As a trustee on charity boards including Claire House... Read More »

Contact Us