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Employment Law Update

ForGovernment changes to holiday entitlement rules provide an opportunity for a reminder of recent alterations in employment law which are of particular importance to our Clubs.


Holiday Entitlements - Bank and Public Holidays

The Working Time Regulations 1998 set down the minimum annual leave provisions for workers although some employers may provide more generous contractual holidays.

Under the Working Time Regulations, workers (including part timers and most agency and freelance workers) have the right to:-

* Four weeks paid leave each year (since 23rd November 1999).
* Payment for untaken Statutory Leave entitlement on termination of employment.

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR - formerly DTI) has announced that Annual Leave Entitlement will increase in two stages; granting workers the right to a minimum of eight days’ paid Public Holidays over and above Statutory Annual Leave.

The additional leave is to be phased in with an increase from 20 to 24 days (pro rata for part time workers) as from 1st October 2007 and from 24 to 28 days as from 1st October 2008.

This will mean that all workers will eventually have a minimum Statutory Holiday Entitlement of 5.6 weeks.

Many Clubs already have arrangements in place in respect of Public and Bank Holidays, whereby Club employees who work on such days are given paid time off in lieu.


Statutory Sick Pay

The weekly rate for Statutory Sick Pay has increased to £72.55 per week from 1st April 2007.


Smoking in the Workplace

New workplace smoking bans were implemented throughout 2007. This means that smoking is no longer permitted in enclosed public spaces in Wales from 2nd April, Northern Ireland from 30th April and England from 1st July 2007.


Notice of Retirement

New laws introduced last October protect workers from age discrimination. The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 make it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees because of their age. A national default retirement age of 65 years means that employers can no longer force someone to retire earlier.
Since 1st April, an employer will have to give an employee approaching the age of 65 at least six months’ notice of his, or her, intended retirement date.


National Minimum Wage

The Government has confirmed that from October 2007 the adult minimum wage rate will rise from £5.35 to £5.52. The Youth Development Rate (for those aged 18 to 21 years) will rise by 15p to £4.60 and the minimum wage for 16-17 year olds will increase by 10p to £3.40.