BriefingBMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7148.3 (Published 20 June 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:S3-7148
Much of the political controversy over the new employment white paper Fairness at Work has been over trade union recognition, but many other changes are proposed too. The qualifying period for unfair dismissal will return to its pre-1985 level of one year, and there will be no upper limit on claims for compensation, currently limited to £12,000. By 1999 the EU directive on parental leave must be implemented, and the white paper also contains proposals on the measures necessary to achieve this. Basic maternity leave will be extended from 14 to 18 weeks, and both men and women will be entitled to three months of parental leave when they have a baby or adopt a child. This, and the right to take extended maternity leave will be acquired after one year of employment. The government is currently consulting on the best way of implementing its objectives.