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Work-life balance – Current Legislation

Title Abstract Date

ACAS (flexible working) arbitration scheme (England and Wales)

  In force 06/0420/03
DTI consultation Updated code of practice published during 2002  
Balancing work and family life: enhancing choice and support for parents Consultation published 01 Jan 2003 now closed. Waiting for response as at 2/02/2004.  
Childcare Tax and National Insurance Contributions From April 2005, changes will take place to extend tax and National Insurance breaks currently available on workplace nurseries to all forms of registered and approved childcare. See here for an Inland Revenue factsheet for employers and here for other Inland Revenue links to guidance and advice. In force 6/04/05
Christmas day trading

Consultation was issued in April 2003.
Second reading 26/03/04

Commission proposal for directive on agency work Governments response to consultation on temporary and agency workers  
Corporate responsibility bill First Reading of Private Members Bill (House of Commons) with provisional second reading 21/11/2003 as @ 12/02/2004.  
Conduct of employment agencies and business regulations 2003

Regulations to update the law regulating the conduct of employment agencies and employment businesses, including new limitations on temp-to-perm transfer fees.

Coming into force 6 April 2004 with some provisions coming into force on 6 th July 2004.
In force 06/04/2004
Employment Act 2002 Page includes implementation timetable.  
Equal pay: equality in practice and Code of Practice on Equal Pay(EOC) Guidance on equal pay and the use of the equal pay questionnaire. In force 06/04/2003
Equality bill

To facilitate both the promotion of equality and the elimination of unfair discrimination so as to ensure that persons do not suffer detriment or are not denied opportunities or benefits for reasons related to one or more of the following grounds;- age; colour; race; nationality; ethnic or national origin; disability; family status; gender reassignment; marital status; pregnancy; religion or belief; sex; or sexual orientation.

Private Members Bill(House of Lords) Report stage completed 04/04/2003. No date for third reading as @ 12/05/2004.

Working Time Directive on working time to excluded sectors and activities

Covers excluded sectors: road, rail, sea, inland waterways and lake transport, sea fishing, offshore work and junior doctors. See the DTI Guidelines and latest news here

EC has commissioned research on the working time opt-out and on 5 January 2004 produced a Communication covering the opt-out, along with doctors’ on-call time and the reference period over which workers’ hours are averaged. This will run until the end of March 2004.

Fixed term employees (prevention of less favourable treatment) Regulations Regulations give fixed-term employees the right in principle not to be treated less favourably than permanent employees of the same employer doing similar work. In force 10/10/2002
Flexible working: The right to request and the duty to consider Confers the right of employees to request their employer to consider flexible working arrangements. In force 06/04/2003
Maternity and parental leave Regulations 2002 Web page lists the major Acts and Regulations setting out the law on maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay, parental leave and the right to time off for dependants. New rates of pay come into force 06/04/2004 In force 06/04/2004
Part time workers (prevention of less favourable treatment) Regulations 2000 (amendment) regulations 2002, The Rights for part-time workers. In force 02/10/2002
Protection against discrimination at work on grounds of sexual orientation Protection for workers from discrimination and harassment at work on grounds of their sexual orientation. In force 01/12/2003
Protection against discrimination at work on grounds of religion or belief Protection for workers from discrimination and harassment at work on grounds of their religion or beliefs. In force 02/12/2003
Sunday working Scotland Act Extended existing protection for shop and betting workers inEngland and Wales against being forced to work on Sundays to shop and betting workers in Scotland In force 10/07/2003


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