Employers in Peterborough have been
reminded that they may need to update their sex discrimination
policies due to new legislation that has just come into force.
Solicitors LLP says that there is now, for the first time in UK law,
an express definition of harassment on the grounds of a person's
sex, including, importantly, sexual harassment.
The new regulations also update the
definition of indirect discrimination, expressly allow ex-employees
to bring claims for sex discrimination and set an eight week time
limit for responses to sex discrimination questionnaires.
Robert Dillarstone, head of
employment law at Greenwoods, said: "This new legislation means that
the definition of harassment is consistent among all of the
discrimination laws and goes a long way towards making this area of
law much clearer for both employers and employees.
"Employers need to check their sex
discrimination polices to ensure that they are up to date with
current legislation. Greenwoods is able to offer knowledgeable
advice to businesses which need clarification on how the law affects
"Also in force this month is the
mandatory use of new employment tribunal claim and response forms.
These were first introduced back in October 2004 and the format of
them is complex.
"It is worth employers bearing in
mind that if the forms are incorrectly completed they automatically
get returned to them. This may result in tribunal time limits
overrunning. We are happy to help employers save time and resources
by applying our expertise in this area and helping them understand
the process and its implications."
Another key employment law
development has been the shelving of the proposed EU Directive on
temporary agency workers. This directive, which would have afforded
temps the same terms and conditions as permanent staff has,
following a raft of opposition, been put on hold for the foreseeable
Robert Dillarstone added: "This is
very good news for employers. Businesses need to be able to use
temporary staff in a flexible way. The proposed directive in its
current form would have seriously infringed the rights of employers
to effectively conduct their operations."