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Imelda Walsh, who was appointed by the Government in November 2007 to lead an independent review to consider how to extend the right to request flexible working to parents of older children, published her report today (15 May).
The Government will consult on the details of implementation shortly.
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The national minimum wage applies to nearly all workers and sets hourly rates below which pay must not be allowed to fall.
It is an important cornerstone of Government strategy aimed at providing employees with decent minimum standards and fairness in the workplace. It helps business by ensuring companies will be able to compete on the basis of quality of the goods and services they provide and not on low prices based predominantly on low rates of pay.
The rates set are based on the recommendations of the independent Low Pay Commission. The rates change on 1st October each year.
The Government is proposing changes to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Act to create a clearer deterrent to non compliance and to provide a fairer way of dealing with arrears of NMW.
The changes are being taken forward in the Employment Bill which is currently going through Parliament. Subject to parliamentary approval, the Government intends the NMW provisions to come into force on 6 April 2009.
On 6 November 2007, the Prime Minister announced that the Government has decided to extend the right to request flexible working - currently available to parents of young and disabled children - to parents of older children. Ms Imelda Walsh, HR Director of J Sainsbury plc, is leading an independent review to consider where the age cut-off for older children should be set. Ms Walsh will make recommendations to the Secretary of State in the spring of 2008.
As part of her work, Ms Walsh is holding a series of meetings with interested parties, including employers, trades unions, parents' groups and other representative bodies, in order to seek their views. BERR will be carrying out a formal public consultation following Ms Walsh’s recommendations in spring 2008.
The statutory holiday entitlement has changed. The holiday entitlement has increased to 4.8 weeks (24 days if you work a five day week) from 1 October 2007 and to 5.6 weeks (28 days if you work a five day week) from 1 April 2009, pro-rata for those working part-time. Guidance including Frequently Asked Questions and an easy to use ready reckoner table is available.