What changes to employment law will come into force in April 2011?

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The government's policy is to introduce new employment legislation on the common commencement dates of 6 April and 1 October 2011. We look at what's coming into force in April 2011.

What's coming into force in April 2011

The default retirement age is being abolished from 6 April 2011 (subject to transitional arrangements covering employees who have received notification of their intended retirement before that date) – see our member briefing.

Fathers of babies due on or after 3 April 2011 will be entitled to take additional paternity leave (APL) of up to 26 weeks (along with other eligible partners) – see our members' mini-guide

From 6 April 2011, the Equality Act will permit ‘positive action' in recruitment and promotion decisions, allowing employers to favour candidates on the basis of their sex, race, age or other protected characteristics in certain limited circumstances. For more details, see our member briefing.

Finally, from 3 April 2011 the weekly flat rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increases to £128.73.

What's not coming into force in April 2011

Some legislation originally planned for April 2011 has been scrapped by the Government at the last minute or delayed. This includes –

  • Time off for training – the right to request time off for training was originally going to be extended to all employees but will now remain restricted to companies with 250 or more employees
  • Flexible working – the current statutory procedures for requesting flexible working were due to be extended to parents of 17 year olds but the extension will not now be going ahead
  • Bribery Act - The implementation of the Bribery Act has been delayed until 1 July 2011 to give employers time to implement the new government guidance on procedures to avoid bribery

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