Last week, I discussed the proposed Employment Law Reforms due to take place in spring 2013 and summer 2013.
I will now discuss the key reforms to take place from autumn 2013 and beyond.
- Reform of TUPE 2006: The Government has recently published a Consultation on reforms to the Transfer of Undertakings (protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE). The Consultation closes in early April 2013, with the Government’s response expected in due course. The Consultation includes proposals to remove service provision changes (the situation where part of a business is outsourced to a contractor) from the scope of the Regulations. The changes are expected to be implemented from October 2013.
- Employee Shareholder Status: 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. The first £50,000 worth of shares (valued at acquisition) will be free from capital gains tax on disposal.
- Tribunal Claims: Acas early conciliation: In January 2013, the government launched a consultation into creating a new early consultation process for all Employment Tribunal claims. Under the proposed early consultation process it will be a requirement for most prospective claimants to contact Acas with the details of their case before a tribunal claim can be lodged. This would then allow Acas to conciliate on the matter, and hopefully resolve it, without the need for a tribunal claim to be raised. It is expected that early conciliation would be introduced in April 2014.
- Tribunal Claims: Penalties for Losing Respondents: Tribunals are to be given the power to impose a financial penalty on employers who lose at tribunal. The penalty is 50% of any financial award, with a minimum of £100 and a maximum of £5,000, reduced by 50% if paid within 21 days.
- Right to request flexible working: The right to request flexible working will be extended to all employees with 26 weeks’ service, rather than just those employees who qualify as parents or carers.
- Workplace sickness absence: The government announced the introduction of a new Health and Work Advisory and Assessment Service. The new Service will be introduced in 2014 and will provide free occupational health assessment of any employee who is off sick from work for four weeks or more.
- Shared Parental Leave: The Children and Families Bill 2013, which was introduced into Parliament, will establish the legislative framework to enable families to divide leave between parents in order to look after children in their first year.
For more information on the changes, please contact us on 01483 303636.