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In its strategy paper: Success at Work - protecting vulnerable workers, supporting good employers, the government plans to make time equivalent to bank holidays additional to annual holiday entitlement; introduce a comprehensive approach to identifying and helping vulnerable workers as well as cracking down on employers operating illegally; ensure targeted enforcement on rogue employers; and ensure employees have better awareness of their employment rights.

The government is increasing the minimum wage from October. The adult rate will rise from £5.05 to £5.35 an hour and the youth rate for workers aged 18 to 21 will be increased from £4.25 to £4.45. The rate for workers aged 16-17 years will increase from £3.00 to £3.30.

ACAS has launched new guidance to help employers and individuals understand how age discrimination legislation will affect them. Age and the workplace is available free online on www.acas.org.uk. It covers key issues, including equal opportunities, recruitment, promotion, performance appraisals, sickness pay, benefits, redundancy, pensions and retirement.

The DTI has published an independent economic cost benefit analysis on Sunday shopping. The cost benefit analysis will form part of the government's decision as to whether there should be any change to the current Sunday trading laws. Should ministers decide to proceed further with the review there will be a formal consultation on the question of any change.

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