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People – Employment and Pensions Newsletter


United Kingdom

People – Employment and Pensions Newsletter

People – Employment and Pensions Newsletter 

Welcome to the Autumn/Winter edition of People

Since the Coalition Government came into power, the changes (or at least the proposed changes) to employment law just keep on coming. Over recent months, the combination of rumours and leaks to the press have given rise to a weekly, if not daily, insight into the Government's plans for employment law.

Described as "the most radical reform to the employment law system for decades", there is no denying that the Government's most recent proposals, if taken forward, will introduce significant change. This edition of People therefore takes a closer look at the range of measures, including the more controversial proposals surrounding "compensated no fault dismissal" and "protected conversations".

We also review other recent developments which give rise to issues for employers and HR practitioners, including social media in the workplace, annual leave and sickness absence, the Agency Workers Regulations and the new public sector equality duties. We also summarise the latest position on compulsory pensions and consider the HMRC's steps to modernise the PAYE system.

And, last but not least, we recently launched our Employment Law Blog. Given the speed with which employment law is changing, this is the perfect way to keep up to date with our view of the latest developments and what they will mean for you over the coming months. You can also follow us on Twitter, @FieldfisherHR_Law, and find us on Linkedin.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this Autumn/Winter edition of People. As always, your feedback is appreciated, so please feel free to email Louise Fernandes-Owen with any comments.

Employment law reforms – what's on the cards?

On 23 November 2011, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced the Government's radical proposals to reform employment law. We provide an overview of the key changes. Read more >

Making it easier to dismiss employees?

Two of the most significant proposals announced by Vince Cable are aimed at addressing a perceived imbalance in the employment relationship which makes it too difficult for employers to dismiss underperforming staff.

Read more >

How should employers handle social media use in the workplace?

Social media can be an effective tool for businesses.  It can provide instant access to a customer base meaning that it can be an extremely effective marketing tool.  However, it also poses a number of risks for employers, particularly where employees make inappropriate comments on social networking sites (whether during, or outside, working hours).  Read more >

Using a legal loophole to avoid the Agency Workers Regulations

Not long after the Agency Workers Regulations came into force on 1 October, they hit the headlines with reports that increasing numbers of employers are considering whether to use a legal loophole (commonly referred to as the "Swedish derogation") to avoid the full impact of the Regulations. Read more >

Q&A: holiday and sick leave – the latest developments

Should employees on long term sick leave be entitled to paid holiday which they have not requested?  No, according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Fraser v Southwest London St George’s Mental Health Trust.

Read more >

Introduction to public sector equality duties

Public authorities have had positive equality duties in respect of race, disability and gender for several years. However, the Equality Act 2010 extended the existing public sector equality duties to cover age, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, sexual orientation and (to a lesser extent) marriage and civil partnership. Read more >

Compulsory Pensions - Automatic Enrolment

The Government has just announced some delays to the introduction of compulsory pensions, also known as automatic enrolment. Read more >

Modernising the PAYE system: collecting Real Time Information

As the next step in their project to modernise the PAYE system, HMRC have published draft regulations to amend the relevant income tax (PAYE and Construction Industry Scheme) and social security contributions regulations. Read more >

Employment seminars and workshops – register here

Aimed specifically at HR professionals and senior managers, our informative and interactive employment law training programme for 2011 offers a range of sessions designed to bring you up to speed with the rapid changes in employment law

Alongside our seminars and workshops, held in both London and Manchester, our programme also includes training sessions led by specialist barristers, which will be of particular interest to in house legal teams, as well as a range of soft skills training which we are offering to both HR professionals and in house lawyers.

Our next event, for example, is the "Annual HR Planner" on Thursday 26 January 2012 (London) and Thursday 2 February 2012 (Manchester).

Click here to download our full employment law training programme. If you would like to register for any of these events, please email, specifying whether you would like to attend the London or Manchester event.

If you would like to register to receive our Employment Law Training Programme for 2012/2013, please email Louise Fernandes-Owen.

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