EMPLOYMENT LAW - page 2
The Equality Act 2006 (Commencement Order No 1) Order 2006 (SI 2006/1082)
Brought several provisions into force on 18 April 2006 including those which:
- establish, and relate to, the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR). Includes the setting up of a statutory disability committee
- give the Government power to make Regulations preventing discrimination and harassment on grounds of sexual orientation relating to goods and services
- give the Government power to impose a duty on public authorities to promote gender equality.
The Order also specifies the provisons which will come into force on 4 December 2006 and 6 April 2007.
The Statutory Sick Pay (General) Amendment Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/799)
Came into force 10 April 2006
Amends the 1982 Regulations to update the statutory sick pay arrangements for dealing with a person who is not actually incapable of work, but needs to be prevented from working because they are a carrier, or having come into contact with an infectious disease.
The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/246)
Came into force on 6 April 2006
Implement the Acquired Rights Amendment Directive (2001/23/EC) and replace the 1981Regulations completely. They will:
- introduce new flexibility in relation to the transfer of insolvent businesses,
- extend the scope of the Regulations to cover contracting out, contracting in and re-tendering,
- introduce a requirement on the old employer (transferor) to provide the new employer (transferee) with a specified set of information on the employees who will be transferred,
- clarify the circumstances in which employers can lawfully make transfer-related dismissals,
- clarify the negotiation transfer-related changes to terms and conditions of employment for 'economic, technical or organisational' (ETO) reasons.
The Regulations apply to all of the UK apart from some provisions relating to service provision changes which do not apply to Northern Ireland.
The Department of Trade and Industry has published guidance on the proposed Regulations.
Measures in the Directive concerning the protection of occupational pension rights during transfers have been taken forward by the Pensions Act 2004. (See Acts of Parliament section).
The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Consultation by Employers and Miscellaneous Amendment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/16)
Came into force on 6 April 2006
The Regulations under the Pensions Act 2004 require employers to consult with members and prospective members or their representatives on major changes to their occupational or personal pension scheme for at least 60 days before the changes are introduced. The changes are listed in the Regulations.
The requirement will affect employers with more than 150 employees from 6 April 2006; employers with more than 100 employees from 6 April 2007 and employers with more than 50 employees from 6 April 2008.
The Department of Trade and Industry will also make minor amendments to the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/3426) - see section below.
Guidance is available on the Department for Work and Pensions website. See also Acts of Parliament.
The Information and Consultation of Employees (Amendment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/514)
Came into force on 6 April 2006.
Makes a minor amendment to the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (SI 2006/3426) (ICE) to permit, in certain circumstances, employers proposing to make a listed pensions change under the Occupational and Personal Pensions Scheme (Consultation by Employers and Miscellaneous Amendments) 2006 not to have to consult under the ICE Regulations.
Further guidance on the amendment to the ICE Regulations is available on the Department of Trade and Industry website.
See section above on the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Consultation by Employers and Miscellaneous Amendments) 2006.
The Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/99)
Came into force on 6 April 2006
Repeals the exemption for partly unmeasured working time under Regulation 20(2).
Pension Act 2004 provisions
Further provisions of the Pensions Act 2004 came into force 6 April 2006.
For information on the key provisions see our Acts of Parliament section. See also Regulations above.
Also on the 6 April 2006 a single simplified tax regime for all pensions schemes was introduced ('A' Day). For further information see our Acts of Parliament section.
The following Regulations came into force 6 April 2006:
The Gangmasters (Exclusion) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/658)
Specifies the circumstances in which a licence under the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 is not required.
The Gangmasters (Appeals) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/662).
Establishes an appeals process.
The Gangmasters (Licensing Conditions) Rules 2006 (SI 2006/660)
Further information on the Regulations is available on the DEFRA website.
See also the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 in the Acts of Parliament section.
Regulations increasing SMP, SPP, SAP and SSP rates
From 2 April 2006 the standard rate of statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay and statutory adoption pay increased to £108.85 per week. The earnings threshold increased to £84 per week. The standard rate of statutory sick pay increased to £70.05 per week from 6 April 2006.
A comprehensive list of the new statutory benefit rates is available on the Department of Work and Pensions website.
The HMRC has published calculators to help employers work out how much SPP and SAP is available to their employees.
The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2005 (SI 2005/3352)
Came into force on 1 February 2006
Brings in new compensation limits for tribunal claims:
- a week's pay will increase to £290
- maximum compensatory award will increase to £58,400, and
- maximum basic award for defined dismissals will increase to £4,000.
Companies Act 1985 (Operating and Financial Review) (Repeal) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/3442)
Came into force on 12 January 2006
Removes the requirement for directors of quoted companies to prepare operating and financial reviews (OFRs) for financial years beginning on or after 1 April 2005.
The requirement to produce a Business Review in the Directors Report remains.
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