Government publishes final TUPE Regulations
The Government has published the final version
of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)
Regulations 2006, which come into effect on 6 April 2006.
The Regulations update the Transfer of Undertakings
(Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 to:
provide more comprehensive coverage
for service contracting operations such as cleaning,
catering, security work and refuse collection;
place a requirement on the transferor
to notify the transferee of the employment liabilities
that will be transferring;
give more flexibility in the application
of the Regulations in relation to the transfer of
an insolvent business; and
clarify the circumstances in which
employers can make lawful transfer-related dismissals
and negotiate transfer-related changes for 'economic,
technical or organisational reasons'.
The Regulations also reflect developments
in case law since the original Regulations came into force
New tribunal award limits come into
The limit on the amount of the compensatory
award for unfair dismissal increased from £56,800 to
£58,400 on 1 February 2006.
Other changes coming into force on the
same date through the Employment Rights (Increase of
Limits) Order 2005 include:
an increase in the maximum amount
of 'a week's pay' for the purpose of calculating
basic or additional award of compensation for unfair
dismissal or redundancy payment from £280 to £290;
an increase in the maximum amount
of guarantee payment payable to an employee in respect
of any day from £18.40 to £18.90.
The new limits are applicable where the
event that gives rise to the award or payment occurs
on or after 1 February 2006.
CRE updates code
The Commission for Racial Equality has
launched a revised Code of Practice on Racial Equality
in Employment, to come into force from 6 April 2006.
While the code does not have the force of law, employers
not following it will find it difficult to defend themselves
against complaints of racial discrimination or harassment
in an employment tribunal. The code's two main recommendations
are: that employers should have an equal opportunities
policy, covering all areas of employment from recruitment
to dismissal; and that they should draw up an equal
opportunities action plan to put the policy into practice.
Statutory Code of Practice on Racial Equality
in Employment, available at www.cre.gov.uk/employmentcode.
Health & Safety
Employees see lunch at work as a luxury
The average working lunch is now just 19 minutes
and 42 seconds with many office workers skipping it altogether,
according to a recent survey.
One in four office staff take no break at
all and almost two-thirds of the 1,500 employees surveyed
said that working through their lunch had a positive effect
on how they were viewed by bosses and colleagues.
Almost half of workers viewed colleagues who
frequently went out to lunch as uncommitted to their jobs.
Seven in 10 people said they ate lunch at
their desk and more than a quarter said they were annoyed
by colleagues who had more time to take lunch breaks than
Most employees get no safety training for
driving for work
More than half of all employees (53%) who
drive as part of their work say they have never received
any training about the risks they face while on the road,
according to a survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists
Seven out of 10 say their employers neither
offer nor require medical check-ups, a driver risk assessment
or training, or training on basic vehicle safety checks.
And almost two-thirds said their employers have not offered
a basic eyesight test.
Government figures estimate that 1,000 people
a year are killed while driving for work - nearly one-third
of all road deaths - and another 13,000 are seriously
Christopher Bullock, IAM chief executive,
said: "We are shocked by the scale of these findings. Too
many employers think their responsibility for employees
when they're at work ends at the front door or the factory
EQUALITY AT WORK
Women are 200 years away from equality
It will take 200 years for women to become
as powerful as men, according to research for the Equal
Opportunities Commission (EOC), which describes women's
progress to equality in public life as "painfully slow"*.
The EOC's annual survey of women's representation
in positions of power finds that, some 30 years after the
Sex Discrimination Act came into force, women make up only
11% of directors of FTSE 100 companies, 20% of MPs (with
only two ethnic minority women) and 16% of local authority
council leaders. They make up just 9% of the senior judiciary,
10% of police chiefs and 13% of national newspaper editors.
Women are beginning to reach critical mass
as heads of professional bodies and national arts organisations,
but even in those spheres they occupy only a third of the
In the civil service, where women hold 25%
of top management jobs, it would take 20 years. Among directors
of FTSE 100 companies and in the senior ranks of the judiciary,
it would take 40 years. In parliament it will take 200 years
- another 40 elections.
Internationally, Britain has fallen out of
the top 50 countries in terms of women's representation
in government and is outperformed by Rwanda, Iraq and Tunisia.
Legislation allowing positive action for women
when selecting parliamentary candidates will expire in 2015;
the EOC wants all political parties to take action by the
next election to improve women's representation.
The commission is also calling for:
a legal requirement for employers in
the private sector to promote sex equality and eliminate
sex discrimination, starting with a diagnostic "equality
check" to identify whether a pay gap exists and take
appropriate action; and
more high-quality, high-paid, flexible
and part-time work at all levels to empower working
mothers and fathers to have a real choice about the
time they spend with their children.
*Sex and power: who runs Britain?
available at: www.eoc.org.uk.
Sex skiving pushes up absenteeism
The stereotypical idea that the British
are prudish about sex appears misplaced. If a new survey
is to be believed, three-quarters of Britons have "pulled
a sickie" because of over-exuberant sex the night before.
A poll of more than 1,000 people by employment
law Peninsula found that 73 per cent claimed to have taken
a day off to recover from an "all night romp".
Almost half also said they had had a sexual
encounter in the workplace and six out of 10 of these
said they felt no guilt about it.
Peter Done, managing director of Peninsula,
said 'sex skiving' was a growing trend among staff, although
he didn't speculate about the effect this revelation would
have on absence management policies...