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Employment Law Updates

PLEASE SEE OUR Employment Law Calendar for updates on Employment Law.

Updated 13/11/12

There are so many changes going ahead in 2013 we have decided to set up a new page “Employment Law Calendar” , this will be a simple timetable of proposed Employment Law amendments for 2013. We hope to have this up and running over the next week. In the meantime please note the following changes for early next year:

CRB Process – March 2013: Changes to the Criminal Records Bureau process mean that from March 2013 employees will not have to obtain a new check each time they start a new job, their employers will be able to check online to confirm that no new information has been added since the check was originally made.

Parental Leave – 8th March 2013:The permitted period of parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child increases from three to four months, and at least one of the four months will now be transferable between parents.

Employee-Owner Contract – April 2013: A new type of employment contract is to be introduced. In exchange for rescinding some of their employment rights, they can receive between £2,000 and £50,000 of shares in the business exempt from capital gains tax. These rights include the rights to unfair dismissal, flexible working (except in relation to parental leave), redundancy pay amongst others.

There are many more changes in the pipeline for 2013 and as always we will keep you and your business up to date.

Updated 11/10/12

It has been announced today that the Government will change the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 that make employers liable for the harassment of their staff by third parties. At the moment employers are responsible for taking reasonable steps to keep their employees “safe” from third parties e.g. customers or suppliers. The government launched a consultation back in May because many employers felt that this was unworkable as they have no control over the behaviour of 3rd parties. The full results of the consultation have not yet been announced but they have confirmed they will remove these provisions, though a date has not yet been announced.

This is one of many consultations taking place through the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to help cut red tape for employers. An introduction of equal pay audits for employers who breach equal pay provisions will also be introduced as part of this Bill.

Though many agree these changes will help remove unnecessary bureaucracy others are concerned that this could make working life harder for the likes of care home staff, teachers who often suffer prejudice and abuse from those they are caring for.

Updated 25/09/12

After all the talk about it Auto Enrolment is finally happening, the new legislation comes into force on Monday 1st October, check out our blog for more details.

Also on Monday the National Minimum Wage changes come into place.

There are various Government Consultations going on and we will keep you updated as and when any decisions are made. If you require information about any aspects of Employment Law please don’t hesitate to give us a call, I am sure we can help.

Updated 29th May 2012

See our Government Consultations page for the latest update on the Employment Tribunal Reforms Bill.

Updated 1st May 2012.

Many of the changes below have now come into place, without much of a ripple. 

One of the biggest changes this year, auto enrollment, does not come into force until 1st October 2012. We will keep you up to date as and when anything new is announced. This is a big change for all companies and your planning and organisation should be well underway if you want to ensure a smooth transition for your business and your employees. If you require any more help in your HR Strategy please give us a call and we will be happy to help. Remember as always communication is the key.

Employment Law Updates 2012 at a glance:-

Tribunal Award Limit Changes from 1st February 2012

Increase in the maximum unfair dismissal award to £72,300

Maximum weeks pay to be used when calculating statutory redundancy pay & basic awards £430

Unfair Dismissal from 1st  April 2012

An Employment Judge will hear unfair dismissal hearings alone, this is being trialled for one year to see how successful this is in practice. 

Witnesses from 1st April 2012

From April, tribunals will be able to direct the unsuccessful party to pay the cost of witness attendance including the cost of witnesses from the successful party. Previously witnesses had to apply to the Employment Tribunals Office to be reimbursed for the expenses incurred in attending a hearing.

Also from April, in England and Wales, witness statements will be taken as read at the Employment Tribunal, unless otherwise directed by the Judge.

This will remain unchanged in Scotland as witnesses are normally required to give oral evidence

Unfair Dismissal from 6th April 2012

An increase from 1 to 2 years on the period employees must have been with an employer before they can claim unfair dismissal. This still excludes some claims e.g. employees claiming unfair dismissal due to discrimination.

Please note this change will not be retrospective, which means that employees who joined an employer prior to 6th APril 2012 will still be subject to a one-year qualifying period.

Family Friendly & Sick Pay Rates from 9th April 2012

Statutory sick pay will increase to £85.85

Statutory maternity, paternity, additional paternity and adoption pay will increase to £135.45

Pension Changes from 1st October 2012

For all companies auto enrolment commences on 01/10/12 (this process will begin with larger organisations and be staggered over 4 years)