Infozone: the briefing – 23/04/10

23 April 2010
Infozone: the briefing – 23/04/10


Two of the three main political parties have now pledged to scrap the default retirement age (DRA), should they win the General Election. The Liberal Democrat manifesto promised to remove the DRA entirely to enable older people to work for as long as it suits them. The document follows the Conservative manifesto, which also pledged to abolish the DRA, should they come to power. Labour pledged only to abolish the DRA at 65 - leaving it open-ended as to whether they will remove it or raise it by a few years.


The majority of small and medium-sized businesses are wary about hiring new staff, following a number of rulings stating that staff on long-term sick leave are entitled to accrue holiday pay, research has revealed. In recent months, two European Court of Justice decisions (Stringer vs HMRC and Pereda vs Madrid Movilidad SA) and a tribunal ruling (Shah vs First West Yorkshire) have stated that employees should have been allowed to carry holiday entitlement into the following year when they were too unwell to take it. In an ICM poll of more than 1,400 small and medium-sized businesses, commissioned by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), 71% said the rulings would affect their recruitment decisions.


Employers using the popularity of apprenticeships to promote and run their own poor-quality courses could ruin the reputation of the training schemes, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has warned. Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, said: "The apprenticeship brand has become so strong that there is a danger that unscrupulous employers could piggy-back on the success of genuine schemes by providing second-rate apprenticeships."

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