Update on Draft Employment Equality (Abolition of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011
As confusion remains over the regulations (Edit: Burt’s view has managed once again to put these regulations into a concise & sensible blog post), Twitter’s #ukemplaw topic has been buzzing about the Default Retirement Age Regulations in recent days.
Questions that have arisen have raised doubts whether the Government would have sufficient time to bring in the new regulations, leading barrister Daniel Barnett tweeting (and being retweeted by several) that these will not work by 6 April.
However, Employment Law Clinic understands that the 40 days that is required to be available for Parliament against a Statutory Instrument (SI) only applies to those subject to a “negative resolution” – such instruments become law unless there is an objection from the House
(i) The instrument is laid in draft and cannot be made if the draft is disapproved within 40 days (draft instruments subject to the negative resolution are few and far between).
(ii) The instrument is laid after making, subject to annulment if a motion to annul (known as a ‘prayer’) is passed within 40 days.
Instruments that are subject to affirmative resolution procedure (this normally applies to about 10% of Statutory Instruments, but includes the Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011) cannot become law unless they are approved by both Houses; this is normally done by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.
While there is plenty of opinion supporting the idea that the SI will need to be laid before Parliament for 40 days, and therefore today’s new SI laid this week will not work – be in force – by 6 April, Employment Law Clinic appear to be in the minority in stating this is not the case, and employers should still expect these regulations to come into force by 6 April 2011 – a position we commented on yesterday.