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March Employment Updates

March 2010

Time off for Training

The Apprenticeship, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 has introduced a new right for employees to request time off to train which comes into effect from 6th April 2010 for businesses with 250 employees or more. This right will be extended in April 2011 to all businesses. Accordingly, Simply-Docs have created a brand new Time Off For Training package consisting of a Policy, Guidance Notes and nine exemplar letters. The Policy and Guidance Notes will help employers to comply with their statutory obligations and make clear how employees must make requests, the procedure employees and employers should follow, and on what specific grounds an employer may refuse a request. The Policy and Guidance Notes also deal with invalid requests and the withdrawal of requests by either the employer or the employee. The letters make the whole process simpler and quicker to manage by providing a template to use for each common step in the process. The letters included in this package are:
- Request for time off to train (for employers to issue to employees so that they provide the correct information thereby saving time and cost)
- Request acknowledgement
- Acceptance of request by employer
- Meeting letter to discuss request
- Rejection of request (outlining business reasons for rejection)
- Appeal request by employee
- Appeal decision by employer
- Invalid request
- Withdrawal of acceptance / request

Harassment and Bullying

Gordon Brown has been all over the news recently in connection with allegations of bullying at number 10, but no Employer can afford to be complacent about bullying and harassment. What employers may be unaware of is that they have a responsibility to prevent bullying and harassment in the workplace and can be held liable if they have not taken reasonable steps to prevent it. One of those steps is to have an effective Bullying and Harassment Policy and Guidelines as to how to use the Policy. With this in mind, here at Simply-docs, we have updated and improved our Harassment and Bullying Policy, Guidance Notes For Employees and Guidance Notes for Employers and Management.

April Updates

In line with the yearly changes in Employment law, Simply-Docs have updated the following documents in anticipation of the April 2010 changes.
- TUPE Information Page
- Disciplinary Guidance Notes
- Unfair Dismissal Awards
- Recruitment Policy
- Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and sick pay allowances in the respective policies

Paternity Leave extension has been a topical subject. The extension was due to take effect this April, however although the legislation has come into force, the extension will only apply to parents of babies due on or after 3rd April 2011. For more information see our Paternity Leave and Pay information page.

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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