Act now to comply

The new announcement on paternity leave has clearly taken many employers by surprise, as it wasn’t mentioned in the government’s election manifesto. But will the proposed changes under the Work and Families Bill cause yet more administrative headaches or do the benefits outweigh the concerns? We present the pros and cons in our barometer (opposite).

Clearly HR professionals have a big job on their hands when it comes to persuading senior management and line managers of the risks of age discrimination, according to an analysis of more than 1,000 employers (see page 12). With less than a year to go in which to raise their awareness and shift attitudes, debunk stereotypical ageist myths and implement the policies and practices that are needed, it is worrying that so far only one in five employers have made the necessary changes to ensure compliance. How does your organisation compare?

Looking ahead to legal developments in 2007, acting chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission Jenny Watson, explains to Employers’ Law how bodies across the public sector will need to engage with the most significant change in sex discrimination law in 30 years. While the law may seem some way off now, the consultation on this new gender equality duty is out so don’t miss your chance to have your say.

And with the Christmas party season nearly upon us, employers should note that the Employment Equality (Sex Discrimination) Regulations 2005 which came into force on 1 October may make it easier for employees to bring successful claims of harassment. On page 14 we consider whether ‘love contracts’ are a viable option to protect employers when office romances go wrong.

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