Employment laws generally change at the beginning of October and April each year. Here is a summary of the radical changes for April 2011.

Default retirement age

The default retirement age of 65 will be abolished.


Positive discrimination provisions come into force, allowing employees to take positive action in favour of protected groups when recruiting and promoting.

Public sector equality duty

The general public sector equality duty comes into force, requiring public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations in this regard.

Paternity leave

The fathers of babies born or due after 3rd April will be entitled to take up to 26 weeks leave, the first 3 months of which will be paid at the statutory rate of £128.73 a week.

Termination payments

Termination payments made after the issuing of a P45 will not automatically be subject to the basic rate of taxation, but may be subject to higher rates, as the OT PAYE code will need to be used.

Migration cap

Imposition of an annual limit of 20,700 on those coming to the UK under Tier 2 (general) of the points based system. Occupations in this category will also need to be at graduate level. The cap will not apply to those earning more than £150,000 a year.

Exemption from new laws for small employers:

Companies with fewer than 10 employees and genuine start-up businesses will be exempt from new domestic regulations for the next 3 years. This may be of limited application in practice.

Please talk to us before assuming that any of the new legislation does not apply to you!

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