Employment Bill 2007-2008

The overall effect of the Employment Bill is to strengthen and clarify key aspects of employment law. It was introduced and had its first reading on 6 December 2007 with the aim of receiving Royal Assent in 2008.

The Employment Bill will:

  • Improve the effectiveness of employment law to the benefit of employers, trade unions, individuals and the public sector.

  • Bring together both elements of the Government’s employment relations strategy: increasing protection for vulnerable workers and lightening the load for law-abiding business.

  • Promote compliance and help to ensure a level playing field for law-abiding businesses.

The Bill includes provisions on the following policy areas:

  • Dispute resolution: makes changes to the law relating to dispute resolution in the workplace. In particular, the Bill repeals the existing statutory dispute resolution procedures and related provisions about procedural unfairness in dismissal cases; confers on employment tribunals discretionary powers to amend awards if parties have failed to comply with a relevant statutory code; makes changes to the law relating to conciliation by Acas; amends tribunals’ powers by which they may reach a determination without a hearing; and allows tribunals to award compensation for financial loss in certain types of monetary claim.

- Consultation on workplace dispute resolution:

Resolving disputes in the workplace – A consultation

  • National Minimum Wage: clarifies and strengthens the enforcement framework for the National Minimum Wage, through the introduction of a new civil penalty that can be levied against all non-compliant businesses; a fairer method of calculating arrears; new inspection powers; and by making offences under the National Minimum Wage Act (NMWA 1998) each way offences (capable of being tried in a Crown Court or a Magistrates’ Court). The Bill also clarifies that Cadet Force Adult Volunteers are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage and amends section 44 of the NMWA 1998 to broaden the type of expenses that can be reimbursed to voluntary workers without triggering eligibility for the minimum wage.

-Consultation document and Government response to consultation on National Minimum Wage and Employment Agency
Standards Enforcement:

National Minimum Wage and Employment Agency Standards enforcement consultation

- Consultation document and Government response to consultation on National Minimum Wage and Voluntary Workers:

National minimum wage and voluntary workers

  • Employment agencies: strengthens the employment agency standards enforcement regime by making offences under the Employment Agencies Act each way offences (capable of being tried in a Crown court or a Magistrates’ court) and conferring additional inspection powers on Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate.

- Consultation document and Government response to consultation on National Minimum Wage and Employment Agency Standards Enforcement:

National Minimum Wage and Employment Agency Standards enforcement consultation

  • Trade union membership: amends trade union membership law to ensure UK compliance with the European Court of Human Rights ruling on Aslef v UK. The amendments enable trade unions to apply membership rules which prohibit individuals who belong or who have belonged to a particular political party from membership of the trade union.

- Consultation document and Government response to consultation on trade union membership law:

The judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the ASLEF v UK Case: implications for Trade Union law