Employment Law Update
In January’s issue we looked at what employment legislation changes were happening in early 2013.
We have set out below the timetable for future changes as recently released in the Government’s report Employment law 2013: progress on reform.
- Change to collective redundancy – reducing the consultation period where 100 or more redundancies are proposed from 90 to 45 days – effective from 6 April 2013.
- ACAS to publish guide on collective redundancy.
- Consolidation of NMW regulations (currently 17) – to be published by the end of April 2013.
- Making settlement agreements easier – replace compromise agreements with ‘settlement agreements’ and introduce a code of practice governing their use.
- 12 months’ pay cap on unfair dismissal compensatory awards – impose a reduced cap on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal (an individual cap of 12 months’ pay of the employee concerned, which will apply where this amount is less than the overall cap).
- Revised Employment Tribunal rules – new rules will be published by May to allow parties time to become familiar with them.
- Improving the GLA – change the enforcement of gangmaster licensing to a risk-based approach and simplify compliance.
- Whistleblowing rule improvements – protect whistleblowers from suffering a detriment, bullying or harassment from another employee.
- New tribunal fees – submitting a claim to a tribunal or an appeal to the EAT will be subject to an initial issue fee, followed by a hearing fee.
- Agency workers paperwork review – review the paperwork obligations associated with the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/93) to simplify them where possible.
- Portable online DBS (previously CRB) checks – a portable Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check which employers can view instantly online will be available. This will allow individuals to move roles without needing a new CRB check each time.
- New employee shareholder employment status – employees will be able to obtain shares in their employer in return for giving up some of their employment rights.
- TUPE Regulation reforms – the consultation on proposed changes to TUPE 2006 closes on 11 April 2013, with the aim to bring any necessary changes into force from October 2013.
- Call for evidence on Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.
- Better online tool – employing staff for the first time – to help first time employers take on their first member of staff.
- Right to request flexible working for all employees – extending flexible working rights to all employees with 26 weeks’ service, rather than just those employees who qualify as parents or carers.
- Acas Early Conciliation introduced – prospective tribunal claimants to send information about their claim to Acas prior to lodging a claim.
- New approach to sickness absence management.
- Introduction of Employment Tribunal penalties – allow tribunals to impose financial penalties, on top of any compensation for successful claimants, on employers that have been found to have breached an individual’s rights.
- Evaluation for Workplace Mediation services – launch of a pilot to train SMEs in Workplace Mediation services.
- Introduction of Shared Parental Leave – families will be able to decide by whom and how children are looked after in the first year, providing them with greater choice in how they manage childcare while giving both parents a fair opportunity to work.
- Implementation of Posting of Workers Enforcement Directive.
Read the report in full to see all of the proposed changes and accompanying dates.