24th March 2009


 Issue No.  2009/06




6th April 2009 is landmark day within the field of employment law. 
Firstly, it is the day when Statutory Sick/Maternity/Paternity pay etc increases come into force (see information update 2009/01 – 28th January 2009). We will send a reminder of the rates in due course.
Three Step Discipline & Grievance Process
Secondly, it is the date when the Statutory Discipline and Dismissal Procedures are revoked (at last!) and replaced with a new ACAS Code of Practice.  Sadly there is a complex transitional period and you are encouraged to take advice before taking any action to discipline or dealing with a grievance.  Look out for our future Information Updates on this subject.
Form P45
Thirdly, a reminder that the new A4 versions of form P45, which were introduced by HMRC from October 2008, must be used from 6th April 2009 and any stocks of the old A5 versions of the form should be destroyed.
Flexible Working
Fourthly, the right to apply for flexible working is being extended and this is detailed below.
Currently, an Employee, with 26 weeks continuous service, is entitled to request flexible working (e.g.: to change their hours of work, change the times they are required to work or to request working from home) depending on specific circumstances.
Currently those eligible to apply for flexible working are:
(1)   carers who care or expect to be caring for a spouse, partner, civil partner or relative or someone who lives at the same address as the employee.  (A relative or adopted relative for this purpose is a mother, father, adopter, guardian, special guardian, son, daughter, brother, sister, parent/son/daughter/brother/sister-in-law, uncle, aunt or grandparent.  Step-relatives and half-blood relatives are also included). 
(2)   those with parental responsibility (mother, father, adopter, foster parent, guardian, or a person who is married to, or the partner of, the mother, father, adopter, foster parent or guardian) of a child.  Originally, this was in respect of a child under the age of 6 (or under 18 if the child is disabled); AND they must be expected to have responsibility for the child’s upbringing and be making the application to enable them to care for the child.
The Change
With effect with 6th April 2009, the right to apply for Flexible Working will be extended to those who have parental responsibility for children aged 16 or under.
If you receive an application for flexible working, there is a set procedure that must be followed and you should seek advice. 
A fact sheet on Flexible Working is available on the Sentient website members’ area.




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