On 14 March 2013, the government announced that the new employment tribunal rules will come into force in summer 2013, rather than in April 2013 as previously expected.
The government has just published a report, ‘Employment Law 2013: progress on reform’, setting out what changes have been made to date through the Employment Law Review and a timetable for the next phase of reforms.
The key measures expected in spring and summer 2013 are detailed below.
- Reforms to collective redundancy will be implemented. 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 will be simplifying the National Minimum Wage rules and intend to produce a single set of consolidated National Minimum Wage Regulations by April 2013, merging the current 17 sets of regulations.
- New Employment Tribunal Fees. The government is aiming to implement the Employment Tribunal Fees scheme in the summer of 2013, in terms of which an initial issue fee is to be paid when submitting a claim to a tribunal or an appeal to the EAT, followed by a subsequent hearing fee.
- Compensatory award cap. The unfair dismissal compensatory award will be capped at the lower of one year’s pay and the existing limit.
- Make settlement agreements easier to use. The aim is to try and reduce the number of Employment Tribunal Claims along with the cost and potential distress that accompany them.
- Whistleblowing. The government intends to amend the ERA 1996 so that workers cannot bring a whistleblowing case relating to a breach of their own contract that is not in the public interest.
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