Working Time Regulations: Sick vs annual leave

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Diana Bruce
Senior Policy Liaison Officer
Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals
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Readers may remember the Modern Workplaces consultation published by the government in 2011, explains Diana Bruce, senior policy liaison officer at the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals.

It detailed proposals in four key areas: 

  • A new system of flexible parental leave
  • A right for all employees to request flexible working
  • Measures to encourage equal pay for equal work between men and women
  • Changes to the Working Time Regulations affecting the interaction of annual leave with sick leave and family-friendly leave

The government published its response to the equal pay element of the consultation back in July and intends to proceed with the requirement for employers who lose an employment tribunal case on equal pay to carry out a pay audit. Further consultation is planned on the exact details of how the audits will operate and what publication requirements will apply.

Just last week the government published its response to the flexible parental leave and flexible working elements of the consultation. Flexible working is to become available to all in 2014 and a new system of flexible parental leave is to be introduced in 2015.

However the one area that we still have not had a response to is the much needed amendments to the Working Time Regulations. Confirmation of the changes to provide clarity for employers when dealing with the interaction of annual leave and sick leave was hoped for by October 2012. Given that we are fast approaching the end of the year, it is unlikely that we will have word before 2013; however there is still the Autumn Statement to be delivered by the Chancellor on 5 December so there may well be reference to the changes then.

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  • Why do the Working Time Regulations require amendment?
  • Employment tribunals
  • Amendments should provide clarity for employers
  • Employer considerations

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