Louise Bland of Lupton Fawcett has produced this summary, which I reproduce below...
- Regulation 3 – the controversial list of “examples” of proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim has been removed (formerly Reg 3(2)).
- Regulation 7(4) – the wording has been amended so that those who are older than the employer’s retirement age (or 65), or who would reach the employer’s retirement age (or 65) within 6 months of their application, are excluded from the protection for job applicants.
- Regulation 11 (and Schedule 2) relating to pension schemes has been amended, particularly the definitions. I haven’t had time to read all of this in detail.
- Regulation 14 – extension of protection to those seconded to the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
- Regulation 30 – the point to note is that the exception relating to retirement at 65 has not been extended to partnerships.
- The original regulations 30, 34, 35, and 36 have gone – these created exceptions for work-related invalidity benefit schemes, provision of benefits mirroring statutory benefits, provision of more generous benefits to replace statutory benefits, and provision of benefits before the statutory qualifying period.
- Regulation 32, relating to benefits based on length of service, has been substantially reworded. All length of service benefits are excepted unless the disadvantaged employee has more than 5 years’ service, in which case the employer has to show that it “reasonably appears” to him that the criterion of length of service “fulfils a business need” such as encouraging the loyalty or motivation, or rewarding the experience, of some or all of his workers. A different slant on the original wording which possibly makes these benefits easier to justify.
- Regulation 33 introduces a new exception relating to the provision of enhanced redundancy payments – this effectively replaces the old regulations 34 – 36 but in a more specific way.
- Regulation 34 introduces a new exception for the provision of life assurance cover to retired workers who have retired early on the grounds of ill health.
- There are several amendments to the Duty to Consider procedure in Schedule 6
o Paragraph 2 (2) makes it clear that employers cannot rely on a notification included in the contract of employment or a policy or procedure given to the employee – a specific notification must be sent in accordance with paragraph 2(1).
o Paragraph 5(2) now specifies exactly what the employee must request – either that his employment continues indefinitely, that it continues for a stated period, or that it continues until a stated date.
o The time periods have changed (paragraph 7) – the meeting must be held “within a reasonable period” after the employer has received the request and the decision must be given “as soon as is reasonably practicable” after the date of the meeting.
o The employer no longer has to consider the request “in good faith”.