In brief

This
month’s Employers’ Law news in brief

Union
warns employers over health and safety

Employers
are being advised to be increasingly vigilant around health and safety laws.
The members of a single trade union have won more than £80m in accident and
injury compensation in the past 12 months. In 2003 the Transport and General
Workers Union was involved in 13,380 cases, which led to total settlements of
£80,885,643. Of these claims, 1,009 involved compensation of more than £10,000.
 www.tgwu.org.uk

Parliament
passes final Employment Act

The
final version of the Employment Act (Dispute Resolution) regulations have been
passed by Parliament. The ruling outlines the statutory disciplinary and
grievance procedures contained in the Employment Act 2002. The new rules,
designed to tackle disciplinary issues between employers and staff and reduce
the number of tribunals, will come into force on 1 October 2004.  www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/si/si2004/20040752.htm

Carers
Bill to get third Commons hearing

A
legal bill that would give carers new rights, opportunities for work, education
and life-long learning has reached a crucial stage of development. The Carers
(Equal Opportunities) Bill, dubbed Sam’s Bill, will get its third reading in
the House of Commons next month. According to Census figures, there are nearly
six million carers in the UK, looking after elderly, sick or disabled
relatives. The care they provide is unpaid and worth an estimated at £57bn a
year.  www.carersonline.co.uk

Dwarf
wins disability discrimination claim

A
dwarf has won a landmark discrimination claim against grocery chain Kwik Save
after he was made to stack high shelves and endure insults about his height.
Scott English, who is 1.3m tall, was awarded damages (which are yet to be set)
after he was told to stack the high shelves without a ladder and had to work
alone pushing 1.83m-2.13m high cages of goods. He claimed under the Disability
Discrimination Act.

HR
professionals call for standard EU holidays

British
HR professionals believe that firms in the European Union should have the same
number of public holidays. A poll of HR staff by consultants Croner found that
82 per cent believed standardising public holidays across the EU would boost
productivity. UK workers get eight bank holidays a year – one of the lowest
numbers in the EU.

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