Legislation 2003 and
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This slideshow aims to provide a readily accessible guide to
employment legislation that is to be implemented into UK law in 2003
and beyond. The proposed legislative timetable is set out in
chronological order, with a summary of its provisions. Note that there
is a degree of uncertainty about when some important legislation,
notably the amended Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of
Employees) Regulations 1981, commonly known as TUPE, will come
into force. Where appropriate, advice to employers on the implications
of the specific regulations is also provided.
The major feature of 2003 is likely to be the coming into force of the
provisions of the Employment Act 2002 (EA 2002): the ‘family-friendly’
policies in respect of new maternity, paternity and adoptive leave and
pay and the new right to request flexible working in April 2003; and the
measures to assist employers and employees to resolve their disputes
internally and proposals to modernise the employment tribunal system
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Topics of Discussion
The Employment Practices Data Protection Code of Practice
Family-friendly policies of the Employment Act 2002
Young Worker Protection
Questionnaires in equal pay
Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business
Amended TUPE Regulations
Extension of Working Time Regulations
Changes to Discrimination Legislation
Implementation of the remainder of the EA 2002
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
EC Information and Consultation Directive
Age Provisions of the Equal Treatment Directive
Data Protection Act 1998
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THE EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES DATA PROTECTION CODE OF PRACTICE
The fourth and final part of the Employment Practices Data Protection Code is expected
to be published early in 2003.
The Code has four parts:
Recruitment and selection – about job applications and pre-employment vetting;
Employment records – about collecting, maintaining and using records about
Monitoring at work – about monitoring workers’ use of telephone or email systems
and vehicles; and
Medical information – about occupational health, medical testing, drug and genetic
The code contains extremely useful checklists and benchmarks that assist compliance
with the Data Protection Act 1998 – see website: www.dataprotection.gov.uk
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FAMILY-FRIENDLY POLICIES OF THE EMPLOYMENT ACT 2002
Maternity, paternity, adoption leave and pay
The package for parents includes:
Six months’ paid and a further six months’ unpaid maternity leave for working
Two weeks’ paid paternity leave for working fathers;
Six months’ paid and a further six months’ unpaid leave for working adoptive
An increase in the basic rate of statutory maternity pay to £100;
Reimbursement of maternity, paternity and adoption payments made by
employers, with a full 100% recoverable by small employers and a further
compensation payment on top; and
The legal right to apply to work flexibly for parents with children under six years,
and for parents with disabled children up to the age of 18 years who have worked
for the employer for six months.
The Regulations actually come into force on 24 November 2002 and apply to women
whose babies are due on or after 6 April 2003. The Department of Trade and
Industry is producing guidance on all aspects of this new legislation. Employers
should review their current entitlements and create new parental leave and/….
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FAMILY-FRIENDLY POLICIES OF THE EMPLOYMENT ACT 2002
adoption policies. They can also expect an increase in the number of
requests to work more flexibly and they should familiarise themselves
thoroughly with the scheme and prepare coherent policies to deal with
the applications. They should not underestimate the possibly negative
effect on those who are not entitled to make a request for flexible
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YOUNG WORKER PROTECTION
The new Regulations implementing the Young Workers Directive will come
into effect on 6 April 2003. The Regulations will protect around 40,000
workers aged between 16 and 18 from working excessive or
unsociable hours, affecting the working hours of those between
minimum school leaving age and their 18th birthday. Their working
time will be limited to:
40 hours a week;
Eight hours in any one day; and
Night working prohibited between 10pm-6am or 11pm-7am.
Some sectors are exempted from the night working restrictions because of
their particular operational needs. Working between the hours of
midnight and 4am is prohibited except in the most exceptional
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Likely to be early 2003
QUESTIONNAIRES IN EQUAL PAY
A ‘questionnaire’ procedure is currently available in individuals’ disputes
over matters of sex, race and disability discrimination, but not in the
area of equal pay disputes. The EA 2002 introduces a formal
questionnaire procedure for use in equal pay tribunal cases, with time
limits for an employer response. The purpose of the procedure is to
help the potential applicant decide whether to institute proceedings
and to help them to formulate and present their case. This enables the
key faces to be settled quickly and can encourage not only the swift
establishment of evidence but also settlement of cases.
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CONDUCT OF EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES AND EMPLOYMENT
These Regulations control the operation of employment agencies and
businesses. They clarify the employment rights and obligations of
such agencies, their workers and clients and will prevent ‘temp’ to
‘perm’ transfer fees unless certain conditions are met.
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AMENDED TUPE REGULATIONS
It is hoped that the long-delayed new Regulations will provide more clarity
on the vexing question of a ‘relevant transfer’, particularly in the
context of contracting out; the position on occupational pensions; and
on transfer-related dismissals and post-transfer harmonisation. The
Regulations will require the transferor to provide information on terms
and conditions of transferring employees to the transferee.
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The Regulations to implement the Directive cover discrimination on
grounds of race and ethnic origins. They introduce a new definition of
indirect discrimination and of harassment.
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1 August 2003
EXTENSION OF WORKING TIME REGULATIONS
Regulations will extend the scope of the 1998 Regulations to cover
road, rail, air, sea and inland waterways transport, sea fishing, offshore
work and junior doctors.
Note that in November 2004 the European Commission is to review
the current 48-hour opt-out provision of the Directive.
The provisions relating to mobile workers – working hours, rest breaks
and night work – are to be amended under two separate deadlines:
August 2003 and March 2005.
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2 December 2003
CHANGES TO DISCRIMINATION LEGISLATION
In October 2002 the Government published a consultation document,
Equality and Diversity: The Way Ahead and sets of draft regulations
and explanatory notes on sexual orientation, religion and belief to
implement the Equal Treatment Directive. These prohibit
Direct and indirect discrimination and harassment based on a person’s
sexual orientation. This is defined as being an orientation towards
people of the same sex (covering gay men and lesbianism); the
opposite sex (covering straight men and women); or both sexes
(covering bisexual men and women).
Direct and indirect discrimination and harassment on grounds of
‘religion and belief’. This is defined as being any religion, religious
belief or similar philosophical belief. It does not include any
philosophical or political belief more generally, unless that belief is
similar to a religious belief. There is an exception – a genuine
occupational requirement (GOR) – where the employer has an ethos
based on a particular religion or belief. /…..
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CHANGES TO DISCRIMINATION LEGISLATION CONT.
Employers are advised to review their equal opportunities’ policies and
training. They may also wish to consider the potential impact of the
‘religion and belief’ provisions on their current working practices and
annual holiday arrangements.
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IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REMAINDER OF THE EA 2002
The Employment Act 2002 also includes the following provisions:
New minimum three-step standards for disciplinary and grievance
procedures – which apply to all workplaces and all employees – and
dispute resolution, including new unfair dismissal rules. The Advisory,
Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) is to revise its Code of
Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures;
Modernisation of employment tribunals, including a fixed period of
conciliation to promote timely settlement of disputes and changes to
compensation awards; and
The establishment of union learning representatives: ACAS is working
with the Department of Education & Skills on a draft code.
Employers will need to ensure that their disciplinary and grievance
procedures meet the statutory minimum requirements. Further
guidance is expected from the Government on the implications of
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DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION ACT 1995
The scope of the 1995 Act will be broadened by removing the present
small employer exemption and by extending its provisions to cover
forms of employment that are currently excluded I.e. employment on
ships, planes and hovercraft, fire fighters, prison officers, the police,
business partnerships and barristers, but not the armed forces. There
will also be recognition of indirect discrimination in disability. Part III of
the 1995 Act, placing a duty on service providers to make reasonable
adjustments to their premises, also comes into force.
The new provisions mean that these employers will have to treat disabled
applicants on the same basis as other applicants and allow them to
take frontline jobs, provided they are capable of doing this. To this
end, the Government is drawing up new medical standards and
training tests (e.g. for trainee fire fighters) to enable the changes to be
put into practice.
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From March 2005 (Three Stages)
EC INFORMATION AND CONSULTATION DIRECTIVE
Employees will have the right to information about a business’s economic
situation, employment prospects and decisions likely to lead to
substantial changes in work organisation or contractual relations e.g.
redundancies and transfers.
This is to be implemented in the UK in three stages:
Initially, it will only apply to businesses with 150 or more employees:
It will then be extended to businesses with 100 or more employees
after two years: March 2007.
After another year it will be further extended to those with 50 or more
employees: March 2008.
The implementation of these provisions has potentially significant
implications for organisations, their managers and workers.
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AGE PROVISIONS OF THE EQUAL TREATMENT DIRECTIVE
Legislation outlawing age discrimination is expected to come into force in
Note that in the summer the EAT is expected to rule on whether the current
exclusion of over 65s from claiming unfair dismissal and redundancy is
contrary to EU law.
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DATA PROTECTION ACT 1998
See above for the publication of the Employment Practices Data Protection
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