Unfair Dismissal April Employment Law Changes: do they affect you?

James Haley, Solicitor at Just Employment Solicitors

by James Haley, Solicitor, Just Employment Solicitors

Unfair Dismissal: the qualifying period before an employee can claim unfair dismissal goes up to two years for staff starting on or after 6 April. The Government claims that this will encourage employers to recruit. But its own (BIS) survey shows that only 1% of employers are put off recruiting by regulations on dismissal.

The new rules will knock out only 4% of unfair dismissal claims. There are still plenty of special cases where an employee can claim unfair dismissal from day 1, so employers are advised to check first with us before you dismiss. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Benefit Rates: benefit payments go up, so that statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay goes up from £128.73 to £135.45 a week; and statutory sick pay from £81.60 to £85.85 per week.

The limit for calculating statutory redundancy pay went up from £400 to £430 on 1 February.

Apprenticeship Agreements: these must now include all the information that goes into a normal employment contract.

Employment Tribunal Procedures: changes here are intended to save public money and to be employer-friendly. So witness statements will normally be ‘taken as read’, not read out (saving time); unfair dismissal cases can be heard by a judge sitting without lay members; parties (usually claimants) can be ordered to pay a deposit of up to £1,000 (previously £500) to continue with a weak claim; and also to pay the legal costs of the winning party up to £20,000 (previously £10,000).

If you need more information, please contact me.

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