Work and Families Act

April saw new legislation coming into force giving improvements to maternity leave and pay and the introduction of the right for carers to request flexible working. Key points are:
– Statutory maternity and adoption pay is extended from 26 weeks to 39 weeks for babies who are due on or after 1 April or where a child is placed for adoption on the same date.
– All pregnant employees regardless of length of service are entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave, made up of 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave and 26 weeks additional maternity leave.
– Women or adopters can go into work for up to 10 mutually agreed “Keeping in Touch Days” during Maternity/Adoption Leave.
– The regulations clarify that an employer is entitled to make reasonable contact with an employee during maternity and adoption leave.
– The notice period is extended from 4 to 8 weeks for an employee to notify their employer of return to work earlier than previously agreed or notified under Maternity and Adoption Leave.
– The right to request flexible working is extended to carers of adults.

The UNITE Negotiators’ Guide on Work-Life Balance has been up-dated to incorporate these changes and is available online. The DTI website also gives detail on the act.

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Unite members across Fujitsu Services Limited in the UK have been taking industrial as part of their dispute over jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions. Action from 28 February has included 15 days of strikes and ongoing action short of strike.

INDUSTRIAL ACTION IS CURRENTLY SUSPENDED while members consider an offer from Fujitsu.

The national dispute follows the resolution of a local dispute in Manchester which included 12 strike days.

Further information is available here including events, pickets, a downloadable appeal for support leaflet and how to donate to our strike fund.

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