It's All Change to Employment Law this Spring and Summer!
Detailed below is a summary of changes to UK Employment Law in 2014.
As you can see there are many changes across a range of areas of employment law, many of which will impact existing policies employers might currently have in place.
It is good practice to review your contracts of employment and HR policies and procedures annually so if you haven't already done so now is the time!
Contact EmployEasily HR to arrange a FREE consultation today.
6 April 2014
The date for the annual index-linked compensatory award limits for Employment Tribunal claims has moved from 1 February to 6 April. The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissals where the effective date of termination falls on or after 6 April 2014 will be increased to £76,574 (or 52 weeks' gross pay, if lower).
Several statutory rates and payments increased on 6 April 2014 including statutory sick pay, maternity pay, paternity pay, adoption pay, and the cap on "a week's pay.
Discrimination questionnaires were abolished
Pre-claim Acas conciliation was introduced under ERRA 2013 on an optional basis (with the system becoming mandatory from 6 May 2014)
Financial penalties for losing employers can now be imposed by tribunals
Abolition of prescriptive Statutory Sick Pay record-keeping obligations
Abolition of Percentage Threshold Scheme which enabled employers to make partial recovery of SSP from HMRC in some cases
Legislation for onshore and offshore employment intermediaries and false self-employment came into force on 6 April 2014, under the Finance Bill 2014 and regulations
The Courts and Tribunals Fees (Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2014 came into force, re-classifying as "Type B" claims (that attract the higher £250 issue fee and £950 hearing fee for a single claimant) claims for equal pay, sex equality in pension schemes, failure to inform or consult under TUPE, failure to allow compensatory rest under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and breach of the right to request time off for training. This is to remedy what the government has identified as a mistake in the original legislation which categorised those claims as "Type A", attracting the lower fees (£160 issue fee and £230 hearing fee).
Changes to the current pension protection regime that operates on a TUPE transfer of employees came into effect on 6 April 2014. They offer the transferee employer the option of matching the transferor employer's level of employee contributions as an alternative to the current requirement of matching the employee's chosen contribution rate up to 6%. The changes are intended to reflect the introduction of the employer auto-enrolment duties under the Pensions Act 2008, particularly the minimum contribution requirement, and to prevent a situation where a transferee employer must pay a higher level of contributions than either the employee's old employer, or that required by the Pensions Act 2008.
The Immigration (Employment of Adults Subject to Immigration Control) (Maximum Penalty) (Amendment) Order 2014 increased the maximum civil penalty which may be payable under section 15(2) of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 where an employer is found to have employed adults who are subject to immigration control but do not have the right to work in the UK.
MPs added to list of "prescribed persons". The Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) (Amendment) Order 2014 amends the schedule to the Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) Order 1999 to make members of the House of Commons (MPs) "prescribed persons" in England, Scotland and Wales to whom a whistleblower may, under certain circumstances, make a protected disclosure.
1 May 2014
The period in which transferors must provide Employee Liability Information will increase from 14 to 28 days before the transfer
6 May 2014
Acas early conciliation scheme becomes mandatory
30 June 2014
The right to request flexible working will be extended to all employees under the Childrens and Families Act 2014. The current statutory procedure that employers must follow when considering flexible working requests will be replaced with a duty on employers to consider requests in a reasonable manner, supplemented by a statutory code of practice from Acas
31 July 2014
Changes to the obligations to inform and consult for micro-businesses will apply to TUPE transfers that take place after 31 July 2014
1 October 2014
Fathers and partners will be able to take time off to attend up to two antenatal appointments
Annual National minimum wage rate increases to take effect
Regulations giving tribunals the power to order an employer carry out an equal pay audit
The government's response to the annual leave aspects of the Modern Workplaces consultation is expected
5 April 2015
New system of shared parental leave will be available to parents of children due to be born or placed for adoption with them on or after 5 April 2015. (Note: protection from unfair dismissal or detriment is expected to be in force from 1 October 2014.)
New tax-free childcare scheme to be introduced
Draft order to outlaw caste discrimination expected
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