17 May, 2011
The constant proposals to change employment law being made by the Government could cause uncertainty for employers and leave them open to claims of discrimination if they aren't fully prepared warns Forbes Solicitors.
Only last week the government announced proposals regarding discrimination claims, redundancy and TUPE before yesterday announcing proposed changes to parental leave and the right to work from home.
Jonathan Holden, Employment Law Solicitor at Forbes Solicitors comments, "Only last week the Government announced potential changes which would have been good news for businesses; but these further and far reaching proposals announced yesterday could be bad news, especially for smaller employers.
It is important that employers are well aware of any forthcoming changes and are in a position to be able to deal with them when they are introduced. Failure to do so could leave them liable to claims of discrimination under the Equality Act which are costly and often difficult to defend."
Currently, a new mother can take 12 months off work, receiving pay for 9 of those months. The new plans will entitle a new mother to receive 5 months paid leave and the couple would then be allowed to divide another 7 months (of which 4 months will be paid) between them.
In addition, paternity leave will potentially increase by an extra 4 weeks. Also, the restriction on when leave can be taken – which can presently be taken only in one continuous block - is set to change. The new plans would allow parents to request leave to use up their parental leave at anytime within the first year of the child's life.