Human Resource Management

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Working time regulations amended

28 September 2001 - Employment Relations Minister Alan Johnson announced changes to the Working Time Regulations which will remove the qualifying period necessary for entitlement to paid annual leave. Workers will be entitled to paid annual leave from their first day of employment, with a corresponding right to compensation for any untaken leave on termination of employment. The amended regulations come into force from October 25 2001.

The amended regulations also allow employers to introduce an accrual system to help manage leave-taking over the first year of employment. Leave will be rounded to the nearest half day.

The move follows the judgement on June 26 by the European Court of Justice that the 13 week paid annual leave qualifying period was not consistent with the provisions of the Working Time Directive. Employee and employer groups were subsequently consulted with most responses being broadly favourable to amendments in the light of the court judgement.

Alan Johnson said:

" The Government has consulted widely on these amendments to the Working Time Regulations and are pleased to announce the changes which will bring them into line with the terms of the European Court of Justice judgement.

" The new regulations will allow employers to introduce a system for the taking of leave to accrue during the first year of employment, at the rate of one-twelfth of the annual entitlement per month worked, rounded to the nearest half-day. This will not affect payment of any untaken leave at the end of an employment contract. It remains the case that employers and workers will be able to agree on arrangements for taking leave, in line with the notice periods set by the Regulations.

" The Government will update existing guidance for employers and employees on the Working Time Regulations in the next few days to address the changes which have been made "


 


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