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October 2018 Newsletter

Posted on Monday 1st Oct 2018

BREXIT Legislation

The UK government has issued its draft proposals to ensure health and safety regulations operate as intended after the UK exits the European Union. 

The Health and Safety (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 are designed to ensure that health and safety protections derived from the European Union, such as The Working Time Regulations, will remain part of  domestic law after the UK leaves the EU. The government has said that, in the case of some protections, technical amendments to existing legislation will be required to ensure effective operation. 

The Regulations, which have been made under powers in s 8 of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA), will amend 11 sets of regulations and one directly acting EU regulation and include changes to the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015; the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002; the Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc.) Regulations 2015; and the Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion, and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995.


EH40/2005 Workplace Exposure Limits

This latest version of EH40/2005 has been updated to include new and revised workplace exposure limits (WELs) introduced by the 4th Indicative Occupational Exposure Limit Values (IOELV) Directive. Also new workplace exposure limits for 31 substances have been introduced from 21 August 2018. It will guide those responsible for controlling exposure to hazardous substances at work

H40/2005 contains some material which is legally binding. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 impose requirements by reference to Table 1 of EH40/2005 and the Notices of Approval, which are therefore legally binding. Thus, if Table 1 or the Notices of Approval apply to your work activities, health and safety inspectors will expect you to be complying with these requirements and will, if necessary, take appropriate enforcement action.


Bereavement Leave

The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill recently received royal assent to become the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018. It is expected that the new rights will come into force in 2020.

At present there is no legal requirement in the UK for employers to provide paid leave for grieving parents but, of course, many employers have developed policies on compassionate leave. Even without a compassionate leave provision in the contract of employment a parent would have a right, under the Employment Rights Act 1996, to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work to deal with an emergency (including the death of a dependant). “Reasonable”, though undefined, would not be for a very long period.

Our October 2017 Newsletter, set out much of the rights contained in the new Regulations. The central feature remains that a bereaved parent will have a statutory right to take at least two weeks’ leave which must be taken before the end of 56 days (beginning with the day of the child’s death). The leave must be taken in blocks of one week but can be continuous or discontinuous.

The Regulations draw a distinction between being able to take leave and being paid for that leave. The latter right will depend on a parent having at least 26 weeks’ service and having been paid above the lower earnings limit for the last eight weeks before leave is taken.

A child is a person under the age of 18 or a stillborn child after 24 weeks of pregnancy. The definition of parent is not entirely straightforward either.

The process to be followed (the requirement to give notice and provide evidence) will be set out in Regulations. Once these are published we shall advise further.


The Apprenticeships (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2017

Acton Jennings LLP has amended its Apprenticeship Agreement to take account of legislation passed earlier this year. It is important not to use an out of date template because the approved English apprenticeship agreement must now set out the period for which the apprentice is expected to work and receive training, and this must be at least 12 months, subject to exceptions.

The Regulations also require:

  • That off the job training be provided during the course of an approved English apprenticeship entered into under the Apprenticeship, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009;
  • Stipulate that the approved English apprenticeship agreement must specify the amount of off the job training that the apprentice is to receive during the period of the agreement.

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