What should you be looking out for in 2009? - Expert Comments

David Reid
15th Jan 2009

The pace of change will not lessen in 2009.

Team of employment law specialists


Legislation, both domestic and European, brought in a number of important changes to employment law in 2008. There were also many important decisions from the domestic Courts and Tribunals, and the European Court of Justice, which clarified existing law in areas such as unfair dismissal, dispute resolution and discrimination.


The pace of change will not lessen in 2009. We understand that it can be difficult to keep abreast of all the changes and how any changes affect your business. In our 2009 updates we will keep you informed of key changes in employment law.


Examples of important forthcoming legislation:

1 April: Statutory minimum holiday entitlement increases to 5.6 weeks (28 days for five-day-a-week worker)


6 April: Repeal of the statutory dispute resolution procedures to be replaced by the ACAS Code of Practice: Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures


Examples of important forthcoming judgments:

Holiday Pay Entitlement During Long Term Sickness


Stringer and others v HMRC (C-520/06)


The European Court of Justice is expected to issue a judgment in this case on 20 January 2009. The Advocate General delivered her opinion on 24 January 2008: that a worker can accrue paid annual leave while off sick but cannot take paid annual leave during sick leave, adding that on termination of employment workers are entitled to accrued but untaken annual leave. The ECJ is expected to follow the opinion of the Advocate General but is not obliged to do so. We will advise you of the ECJ’s judgment when it is delivered.


The Incorporated Trustees of the National Council on Ageing (Age Concern England) v Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform C-388/07


This was formerly known as the ‘Heyday Challenge’. The Advocate General of the ECJ delivered his opinion on 23 September 2008: that a national rule which permits employers to dismiss employees aged 65 or over for retirement can, in principle, be justified. It is now for the national courts to determine whether this rule is objectively justified or not. The High Court is expected to deliver a judgement in this case in early 2009 – watch this space.


Your feedback is always appreciated and we would welcome any comments that you have on this update. We also welcome any ideas that you might have for any future updates or articles that you might find useful. Please contact us with any comments you may have.

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