Government Proposals

OPEN CONSULTATIONS  Zero Hours Contracts Purpose of Consultation: To regulate the use of zero hours contracts and the provisions included within them. CLOSED CONSULTATIONS WITH NO RESPONSE The Revision of Paragraphs 15 and 36 of the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures Closed: 7th January 2014 Purpose of Consultation: To seeks views on amending the reference to the right to be accompanied in the Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. Following the UK EAT case of Toal v GB Oils which focussed on an employee’s right to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing, Acas acknowledges that their interpretation of the law is misguided. The Code will be amended to remove the test of reasonableness currently applied to the choice of companion. It will be made clear that an employee is free to choose his companion, but an onus will be put on the employee to consider the sensibility and helpfulness of his particular choice. CLOSED CONSULTATIONS WITH PUBLISHED RESPONSE Administration of Shared Parental Leave and Pay Response Published: 29th November 2014 Confirmed action includes: Requiring the mother to give her employer 8 weeks’ notice that she wishes her maternity leave to end and opt into the Shared Parental Leave (ShPL) system; a non- binding indication of when they expect to take their ShPL and 8 weeks’ notice of any leave they will be taking. There will be a limit on the number of times a parent can notify their employer to take a period of ShPL, set at three; parents will be entitled to work for 20 ‘keeping in touch’ days each during their leave without it affecting their statutory pay. Employees will have the right to return to the same job if the total amount of leave taken is 26 weeks or less. TUPE Regulations 2006: Consultation on Proposed Changes to the Regulations Response Published: September 2013 | Implementation Date – 31st January 2014/1st May 2014/31st July 2014 Confirmed action includes: The definition of Service Provision Changes will be amended; the restrictions on dismissal and changes to terms and conditions after the transfer will be relaxed which will result in fewer automatically unfair dismissals; terms of collective agreements will be open to variation from 1 year after transfer; pre-transfer consultation with employees will count towards collective consultation for redundancy purposes; micro businesses will not be required to hold elections for representatives. Early Conciliation: A consultation on proposals for implementation Response Published: July 2013 | Implementation Date – 6th April 2014 Confirmed action includes: Implementation date is expected to be Spring 2014; all claims except interim relief must be made through the Early Conciliation process; an Acas support officer will be the first point of contact with the claimant; it will be the support officer’s decision of how many attempts are made to make first contact with the claimant; Acas will not contact the respondent employer without the claimant’s permission. ‘Future Reserves 2020: Delivering the Nation’s Security Together’ Response Published: July 2013 Confirmed action: SME employers will receive financial support in addition to a flat rate £500 per month from the government when a reservist employee is mobilised; a structured notification process will be set up to keep employers are informed as possible about mobilisation; employers with a post-deployment report detailing what their reservist employees have achieved during the deployment and what qualifications or skills they have learnt; the service qualification required to claim unfair dismissal will be removed where the reason for dismissal is the reservist service.

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