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This outlines the current legislative changes that could affect your Employee Handbook.

If there are any points of concern that you might have, for example about changes that you may have heard about in the press please get in touch with us. A lot of press coverage is more alarmist than it needs to be, but if there is something that has caught your attention then we would be pleased to look at it and assess its importance to you.

It is worth noting that the Government has stepped back from extending certain “rights to request”, these are the right to request study leave and flexible working, and put a moratorium on additional regulation for businesses employing fewer than 10 people for the next three years. This does not apply to Paternity Leave or the default retirement age, however.

Paternity Leave

The law was brought into force on 6 April 2010 and is effective for parents of children due on or after 3 April 2011.

The changes to paternity leave allow fathers up to six months off work if they transfer leave from their partner. In the case of adopted children, the spouse or partner (of either sex) of the adopting partner will qualify.

Mothers who return to work after six months will have the option to transfer the remaining unused six months of maternity leave to their partner – three months on statutory maternity pay and three months unpaid.

Default Retirement Age abolished

The option to retire employees at 65, unless they reach 65 before 5th October 2011 and are notified by 5th April 2011 has gone.