In brief

This month’s news in brief

Whistleblowing comments

We would like to make it clear that comments made by Rachael Heenan of
Beachcroft Wansbroughs in an article in our December issue on whistleblowing,
were of a general nature and did not relate to any specific case. We apologise
for the inappropriate use of her comments and regret any embarrassment caused.

Bill to curb ‘fat cat’ payments snubbed

The DTI has snubbed a Tory bill aimed to curb excessive pay-offs for
directors of underperforming companies.

Secretary of State Patricia Hewitt decided not to back the Private Members’
Bill proposed by MP Archie Norman (pictured), despite increasing controversy
over payments for ‘fat cat failures’ and criticism from the Government itself.

Young workers’ hours to be restricted

The Government has announced amendments to the regulations on young workers.
From 6 April, the working time of those aged 16 to 18 will be limited to 40
hours a week and a maximum of eight hours a day. They will not be able to work
at night.

Tribunal compensation limits increased

Employment tribunal compensation limits have increased. The maximum week’s
pay rises from £250 to £260, redundancy and basic unfair dismissal awards to a
maximum of £7,800. Maximum compensation for unfair dismissal increases from
£52,600 to £53,500.

Pensions rights ‘should transfer under TUPE’

The majority of employers which responded to the Government’s consultation
on pensions believe occupational pension rights should transfer under the TUPE
regulations, reform of which has been pending for over a year. They also said
protection should be flexible and legislation simple so that, for example,
employers could pay a lump sum in compensation if it was not practicable to
continue a scheme.

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