Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Are you up to speed?

Red alert- this Autumn, it will become possible to impose fines on employers who breach employment law. Are you up to date?

As an employer, are you aware of the imminent changes to employment regulations, and what you need to do to ensure you're compliant?

Changes are coming into force this year that will impact on the employment relationship, affecting areas right through from hiring to termination of employment. We've outlined the big changes below but more information can be obtained from us via niki@treacletiger.co.uk

February saw an increase in the limits on employment tribunal awards with the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal up from £72,300 to £74,200.
A ‘week’s pay’ will rise from£430 to £450 and the maximum statutory redundancy pay will rise from £12,900 to £13,500.

In March, unpaid parental leave will rise from 13 to 18 weeks.
The Government also plans to remove third party harassment provisions and discrimination questionnaires from the statute book.

April will see the rates of statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory paternity pay (SPP) and statutory adoption pay (SAP) increase from £135.45 to £136.76 weekly. Statutory sick pay (SSP) will rise from £85.85 to £ 86.70.
All employers will be required to start reporting PAYE information in real time.
The Government is set to reduce the minimum collective redundancy consultation period from 90 to 45 days.
Employers will be able to offer employment on a “employee shareholder” basis. This means employees will be given shares in the company valued between £2,000 and £50,000 but will lose certain employment rights including the right to claim unfair dismissal.
Whistleblowing legislation will be tightened to ensure that protection is only given to employees who make a disclosure that is in the public interest- not those who act in a deliberately provocative or vexatious manner.

Once the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill becomes law after May, it will give the government the power to limit unfair dismissal compensation to one year’s earnings, or three times a person's average earnings as well as bringing in a mandatory period of Acas conciliation before a claim can be made.The legislation will also give tribunals the scope to impose a financial penalty on employers (up to 50% of the award, up to a maximum of £5,000).

The below changes are on the slate for 'Summer'- we will of course keep our clients updated on more news as it filters through.

Compromise agreements will become known as 'settlement agreements' and will be subject to a new Statutory Code of Practice.

Fees will be charged to bring an Employment Tribunal claim. The more straightforward claims will cost £160 to submit to a tribunal and this increases to £230 if claims proceed to a hearing.
More complex cases will cost £250 to submit, and £950 for the hearing.
Cases heard through judicial mediation will cost £600.

October is traditionally a big month for employment law changes and this year is no different. 2013 will see increases to the National Minimum Wage. The exact sums are not confirmed at the time of writing.

We can also expect to see changes to employment tribunal procedure, including the creation of a rapid resolution scheme to handle simple tribunal claims or those where smaller sums of money are involved.

As of October there will also be a mandatory requirement for parties in dispute to participate in pre-claim conciliation with Acas support.
There are also plans on the table regarding equal pay audits, including guidance on how you can implement them in your team.
We will also see changes to working time legislation that are designed to clarify the relationship between and management of annual leave and sickness absence.

The employment relationship is too precious and too important to get it wrong- by speaking to us and letting us take away the stress, you can mitigate risk and be confident that both your business and your people are covered. You'd get the right equipment in place to tackle and prevent emergencies- so why not with your employees?

Don't wait til there's a fire...

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