31st July 2009


 Issue No.  2009/16





Representatives of employers, small businesses and trade unions have met as ‘European Social Partners’ and agreed to seek the following changes to the Parental Leave provisions.  The proposed changes are: 
  • To increase parental leave from three to four months;
  • Workers returning from parental leave have the right to return to the same job or an equivalent position “consistent with their employment contract or employment relationship”; and
  • Improving protection against dismissal while on parental leave.

Don’t panic!  It could take up to three years for the agreement to be applied in member states.  It will firstly be examined by the European Commission which will then submit a proposal for the agreement to become a directive to the Council of Ministers, where it must be approved by a majority before it goes any further.



Another proposed new right for time off work…… but this time to Train
The House of Lords are currently debating The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill.
This provides for certain individuals (with 26 weeks’ minimum employment with their employer) to apply for time off to undertake study or training and if it receives Royal Assent it is likely to come into force in 2010.
The employer can refuse an application.  However, this needs to be on restricted grounds, such as; additional costs to be incurred by the employer; inability to reorganise the work force; and the proposed study would not improve the employee’s effectiveness or performance with the employer.
If an employer unreasonably refuses a request for time off to train, the employee will have a right to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal.
It should be noted that the Bill does not expect employers to pay employees during their time off for training, nor is the employer expected to bear the costs of the training.
We will keep you updated on this as it proceeds through the legislative system.





Employment Law
Health & Safety
Personnel / HR
Food Safety
Food Hygiene
Management Training



Making sense of it all

Sentient - Training

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"capable of perception"

"capable of independent thought"

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