Latest Changes to UK Employment Law – April 2010

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We thought you might the following summary of this month’s key employment law changes  useful:

  • Companies with 250+ employees are now obliged to give employees the right to request time  off to study or train. From April 2011, this right is extended to all Employers.
  • In an attempt to reduce the numbers of employees on sick leave, a new ‘Statement of Fitness to Work’ (aka the Fit Note) was brought in on 6th April to replace the previous Sick Note. GP’s will declare individuals “unfit for work” or “you may be fit for work taking account of the following advice”. This note lets GP’s suggest to employers changes that can be made to encourage a return to work, such as a phased return to work, altered hours, workplace adaptations or amended duties.
  • Good news for parents to be: From 4th April 2010 the government has increased statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay from £123.06 to £124.88. Also, looking further ahead, fathers of babies born on or after 3rd April 2011 will benefit from 6 months additional paternity leave, which can be taken either during the 39 week maternity leave or once the mother has returned to work.
  • On 6th April the Equality Act 2010 received Royal Ascent, but will not come into force until October (2010). This Act brings disability, sex, race and other grounds of discrimination within one piece of legislation, and also makes changes to the law. Please see here for a factsheet from the The Government Equalities Office.