A number of employment law changes come into effect today. These are briefly summarised below:
Additional paternity leave and pay legislation comes into force
The right to additional paternity leave allows fathers to benefit from up to six months' additional paternity leave if the mother returns to work before using her full entitlement to statutory maternity leave. The new right is available to parents of children with an expected week of childbirth beginning on or after 3 April 2011.
Employment tribunal "fast track" scheme introduced
The scheme has been created by the UK Ministry of Justice to help successful employees recover compensation from their employer where it has failed to pay a tribunal award.
Right to make a request in relation to training is introduced
A right for employees to make a request in relation to study or training, for example to request time off for training, is introduced from 6 April 2010.
"Fit note" system begins
Statements of fitness for work, or "fit notes", will replace sick notes from 6 April 2010. The new fit note is intended to give employees and employers greater flexibility in managing sickness absence and to help more people to get the support that they need to get back to work.
Maternity, paternity and adoption pay are increased
The standard rates of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increase from £123.06 to £124.88 per week from 4 April 2010.
Modest changes perhaps, but in the right direction. With the election starting gun being fired today, it is worth remembering the significant improvements made in employment law over the past 13 years. And more importantly, how those gains would be under attack from a Cameron government.