Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Employment law


A recent case has provided a sharp reminder that the rules on alternative employment in the case of redundancy have to be adhered to. The 'trial period' during which an employee retains the right to redundancy payments is four weeks and can only be extended by contractual arrangements. After that entitlement is lost.

The intention is simply to allow an employee to see whether, with appropriate training, the new job is suitable. Informal discussion on extending the period will cut no ice with the employment appeal tribunal if the job turns out not to be suitable but the employee has gone over the four weeks.

Statutory annual leave

Statutory annual leave entitlement has increased, as of 1 October, by four days for full-time employees.

This is the first stage of an increase to the full eight day increase (which adds public holidays to the present entitlement instead of subsuming them within it).

It is not forbidden to ask employees to work on public holidays, nor is it compulsory to take the eight days during that period. The next stage is a further increase of four days from 1 April 2009. For a transitional period (up to the introduction of the full entitlement) employers may make a payment in lieu.

National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage has increased to: 3.30 to 3.40 for workers aged 16-17; 4.45 to 4.60 for workers aged 18-21 and those aged 22 and over doing accredited training in the first six months of employment; and 5.35 to 5.52 for workers aged over 22.

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