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March 2013 Employment Law Changes

February 2013
Parental Leave

As of 8 March 2013, the right to unpaid parental leave will increase from 13 weeks to 18 week in accordance with the Parental Leave Directive. This EU Directive came into force last year but the Government took advantage of the additional year’s grace allowed by the Directive, hence the delay in implementation until March 2013. Changes to other family-related leave are expected from 2015.

Every employee who is the parent of a child can take up to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave during the first five years of the child’s life. Adoptive parents must take their parental leave by the fifth anniversary of the adoption or by the child’s 18th birthday, whichever is sooner. As at present, unpaid parental leave is limited to a maximum of four weeks per year.

Third Party Harassment

March sees another change to employment law in the repeal of Section 40 of the Equality Act 2010. This clause introduced the concept of third-party harassment, which meant that an employer could be held liable for the harassment of an employee by a third party (e.g. a customer or supplier). The third party harassment clause is being repealed on the grounds that it is unworkable.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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