With brand new workplace legislation being introduced on a regular basis, keeping up to date with your employment law obligations and responsibilities can be difficult. Some changes are given significant amounts of press – the introduction of pension auto enrolment, for example. Television adverts and posters are commonly seen on this topic. But information on other changes is not so widely made available. This is why the 24 Hour Advice Service is there and why it is so important that you use it. It is not only the introduction of new legislation that employers need to be aware of, but changes to current law also bring about shifts in an employer’s approach to responsibilities toward their staff. For example, the extension to the right to request flexible working which is due later on this year – almost all of the current eligibility criteria will be removed, together with the statutory procedure containing timescales for meetings. Whilst the structure of the procedures is disappearing, the need to consider the request and deal with it in a reasonable manner is not, and the ability to take a claim to tribunal based on flexible working is not. It is therefore equally important that advice is taken on the process to be followed when statutory procedure is removed, as it is to take advice on the requirements of the statutory procedure now. In general, the likelihood is that the running of your business or your department takes up every spare second you have and you don’t have the time or inclination to check what, for example, the current rate of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is. If you give the 24 Hour Advice Service a quick call, they will be able to tell you. They will also be able to tell you at what point your employee should start receiving SSP (because it isn’t always payable from the first day of absence) and how long to pay it for. They will also be able to help with any other aspect of SSP, and how to deal with sickness absence in general. Where you have professional employment law help and advice available to you, this really is the best route to take, whether your query is simply about the rate of SSP or how to handle a flexible working request or deal with a tricky redundancy situation. Being given instant up to date legal guidance when you have a situation with one of your employees could prevent the matter escalating and, potentially, save a day or two at Tribunal and a large amount of money. You can call the Peninsula Advice Service on 0844 892 2772.