11th July 1997 at 01:00

I am that rare animal, a teacher over 60 and still working. Can I be made redundant and be compensated for it?


The answer may be found in section 156 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, which provides that, unless it is established by an employer that there is an earlier age of retirement for all relevant employees, the entitlement to benefit from the rights attached to redundancy continues to the age of 65.


My school is considering joining the Co-op Bank credit card scheme. Teachers, parents and others can apply for a card and the school receives a commission on every one issued and on every transaction made with it. The school distributes the application forms but they are returned directly to the bank. Are there any problems for us in entering this scheme?


These "affinity" cards are becoming very popular and a number of educational institutions, as well as charities, are using them.

I know of no problems as far as the school is concerned, provided that it is made clear that the relationship between the card-holder and the bank does not involve the school in any way. The card is just like any other, except that the user knows that, every time he or she uses it, the school derives a small benefit.

Whether the card is better or worse than any other, in terms of charges and interest rates, is a matter for the bank to advertise and for the individual to decide.


Has the law relating to school pupils taking part in work experience changed?


Yes. The Health and Safety (Young Persons) Regulations 1997, which came into force in March, dealt generally with young persons under 18 in employment and contained specific provisions relating to pupils on work experience.

The regulations simply say that young persons on work experience must be regarded for the purposes of health and safety as if they were employees. As employers have a duty to address health and safety issues for all their employees, there should be no problem in this respect when placements are sought for work experience.

The regulations bring pupils on work experience within the scope of the European Directive on the protection of young people at work, and the Department of Health is currently consulting on the implementation of the new provisions.

Schools will welcome this clarification of an issue which has caused considerable anxiety in the past for themselves, for parents and for the employers offering placements.

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