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Changes coming into effect on 6 April 2010

Posted on 6th April 2010
New legislation

A number of changes come into effect on 6 April 2010, in particular the new 'fit' notes.

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Simon Quantrill Simon
Managing Partner Telephone: 01473 688100

"Fit" notes

The new Statement of Fitness to Work or "fit note" comes into effect. It is intended to focus the mind of the employee, GP and employer on what an employee may be capable of when they are fit for work. Click here to find out more.

Right to request time off to train

This change will impact those employers with 250 or more employees only.

A request for time off to train can only be made by employees who have completed six months' service. Also the training must be to improve effectiveness at work and performance of the employer's business.

The statutory procedure for making a request and the employers responses closely mirrors those in place for requesting flexible working but employers should consider putting in place a policy dealing with the right and also ensuring that appropriate managers are aware of the right. A breach of the procedures could result in an award to the employee of eight weeks' pay.

Tribunal given right to inform regulators of whistleblowing

Subject to the consent of any claimant tribunals will have the power to provide a copy of a claim form (or parts of it) including a claim for whistleblowing to appropriate regulators. Regulators can then take appropriate investigatory action.

Additional paternity leave and pay

These changes will apply to parents of babies born (or adoptive parents notified of a match) on or after 3 April 2011 and so will not have any immediate impact.

Employees who are entitled may take up to 26 weeks' paternity leave where the mother (or primary adopter) returns to work early. Some of the leave may be paid if taken during the paid leave period of the mother (or primary adopter).

This change seems a long way off, but organisations should be aware of the changes and ensure that their policies are up to date. We will remind you of the changes nearer the time.

Changes to the immigration rules

On 6 and 7 April 2010 changes take place to the immigration rules. They primarily relate to Tier 1 and Tier 2 of the points-based system.

New points criteria will be implemented for both tiers. There will be a simplified process for Tier 1 applicants not having a Master's degree and greater flexibility for short-term transfers by multinational companies. There will also be greater protection against the use of such transfers to fill long-term vacancies that should go to resident workers. 

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