Progress on employment law reform

As part of its “Employment Law Review”, the government has published “Employment law 2013: Progress on Reform”, detailing the progress on employment law reform to date and outlining a timetable of future changes.

Some of the key measures and expected implementation dates are set out below:

SPRING 2013

Collective redundancy consultation – The 90 day consultation requirement for redundancies involving 100 or more employees is to be reduced to 45 days in April 2013.

Consolidation of national minimum wage – The government intends to produce a single set of consolidated regulations by April 2013, merging the current 17 sets of regulations.

SUMMER 2013

Compensatory award cap – The unfair dismissal compensatory award will be capped at the lower of one year’s pay and the existing limit.

Whistleblowing – The government intends to amend the Employment Rights Act 1996 so that workers cannot bring a whistleblowing case relating to a breach of their own contract that is not in the public interest.

New employment tribunal fees – Submitting a claim to a tribunal or an appeal to the Employment Appeals Tribunal will be subject to an initial issue fee, followed by a subsequent hearing fee.

AUTUMN 2013

Employee ownership – The new employee shareholder status will be implemented in Autumn 2013 rather than April 2013 as previously expected. Under the proposals, employees will be able to obtain shares in their employer in return for giving up some of their employment rights.

Reform of TUPE  – In January 2013, the government issued a consultation on proposed changes to TUPE 2006. The consultation closes on 11 April 2013. The changes are expected to be implemented from October 2013.

 SPRING 2014

Right to request flexible working – It is intended to extend flexible working rights to all employees with 26 weeks’ service, rather than just those employees who qualify as parents or carers.

ACAS early conciliation – On 17 January 2013, the government launched a consultation on how it proposes ACAS will deal with requests for “early conciliation” from prospective claimants who will have to make such a request before they can issue certain proceedings in the employment tribunal. The government has not yet published its response to the consultation but is aiming for implementation by early 2014.

Employment tribunal penalties for losing respondents – The government plans to introduce financial penalties for unsuccessful respondents in 2014.

For further advice and information please contact our employment law experts at commercial@blasermills.co.uk.