Implementation dates for The Employment Act 2002

United Kingdom
The DTI has just published the final text of the Employment Act and an implementation timetable for it. These can obtained from the DTI website at www.dti.gov.uk/er/employ/index.htm Most of the provisions will take effect in 2003.

The current status of the key provisions of the Act is:

1. Family Friendly issues

Clauses 1-21 Employment Act deal with Maternity/Paternity/ Adoption Leave and Pay. Draft Regulations have been published. Consultation concludes on 19th July. Final regulations are expected to be operational on 6th April 2003, as previously announced in the 2001 Budget.

2. Tribunal Reform

Clauses 22-28 deal with practice directions, management of weak cases, revision of costs regime and mandatory tribunal forms etc. Consultation is expected to take place over the winter 2002 with the introduction of a package of measures planned for 2003.

3. Dispute Resolution

Clauses 29-41 include provisions covering minimum internal disciplinary and grievance procedures, the encouraging of employees to raise grievances with their employer before applying to the tribunal; limited extension to time limits for lodging tribunal complaints to allow procedures to complete etc. Consultation is expected to take place over this coming winter with introduction expected in late 2003.

4. Fixed Term Work

Clauses 45 and 46 cover new rights for Fixed Term Workers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Fixed Term Employees' (Prevention of less favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 will come into force from 1st October 2002. Guidance is expected shortly.

5. Flexible Working

Clause 47 introduces a new right for parents to request flexible working. Consultation on the draft Flexible Working (Eligibility, Complaints and Remedies) Regulations 2002 and the draft Flexible Working (Procedural Requirements) Regulations 2002 is underway and finishes on 10th October 2002. The new laws are expected to be in force on 6th April 2003

6. Miscellaneous

Clause 42 Equal Pay questionnaires - regulations to be laid before end of 2002. Implementation due early 2003. Clause 48 rate of Maternity allowance - expected to be operational from April 2003. Clause 49 Work focused interviews for partners - unlikely to be before April 2004.

If you require further information about the Employment Act or how it might impact on your business please contact Simon Jeffreys at simon.jeffreys@cms-cmck.com or on
+44 (0)20 7367 3487
Anthony Fincham at anthony.fincham@cms-cmck.com or on
+44 (0)20 7367 2783
Alex Green at alex.green@cms-cmck.com or on
+44 1224 622002