Employment Law Changes April 2009

May 16


Nick Jervis

Nick Jervis

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There have been some recent changes to UK employment law and this article advises you of their impact (some took effect since 1 April and some since 6 April 2009).


The changes deal with a variety of Employment Law matters,Employment Law Changes April 2009 Articles from holiday entitlement to flexible working and increases in statutory sick pay and paternity pay.

1. Enforcement of National Minimum Wage

There is now a new penalty for employers who fail to pay the national minimum wage. There is also a new method for calculating the arrears taking into account the length of time that the arrears have been outstanding.

H M Revenue and Customs are now given wider powers to allow them to investigate any prospects of failure to pay the National Minimum Wage.

2. Increases to Statutory Sick Pay and Maternity/Paternity Pay

Statutory Sick Pay will now be increased to £79.15 (previously it was £75.40).

Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay is also increased from £117.18 to £123.06.

Holiday Entitlement
The Statutory Annual Leave period is being increased to 5.6 weeks from 4.8 weeks. This does not include Bank Holidays or Public Holidays and therefore, any time given off on these dates can be included in the Statutory Annual Leave period.

Flexible Working
Employees will now have the rights to apply for statutory flexible working, if they need time to care for:

  • A disabled child who is under the age of 18 years old and in receipt of disability allowance.
  • A child under the age of 16.
  • An adult who is their partner, relative or who lives at the same address.

Automatically Unfair Dismissals

Whereas if disciplinary or grievance procedures where not followed, or were followed incorrectly, would previously amount automatically to an unfair dismissal, this legislation has now been repealed. Therefore, failure to follow the disciplinary or grievance procedure will not in itself automatically lead to an unfair dismissal, although there will still be able to increase or reduce the amount of compensation by up to 25% for unreasonably failing to comply with the new ACAS Code of Practice on a discipline and grievance.