Summary of important changes to employment law and other hot employment topics

31 January 2013

‘Ending the Employment Relationship’ consultation

  1. The Government intends to introduce a 12 months’ pay cap on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal; moving away from the current cap of £72,300. This cap is designed to reach a better balance between ensuring that Claimants are fairly compensated and giving the parties more realistic expectations.
  2. To encourage more settlements it is proposed that the new compromise agreement templates will be made available together with a statutory code of practice. The code includes a definition of improper behaviour and what a ‘reasonable period of time’ should be for an employee to consider an offer.
  3. The Government will deliver guidance on when to consider the use of a settlement agreement / compromise agreement and which issues one should consider when negotiating the financial settlement.

To read more how the Government plans to reduce the number of workplace disputes, please click here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/next-steps-to-help-resolve-workplace-disputes
And/or here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/53132/13-565-ending-the-employment-relationship-consultation-response.pdf

Changes to TUPE

Under the Red Tape Challenge the Government conducted a review of the current Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE). The resulting proposals are designed to simplify and to improve the current regulations.

The main proposals are to:

  • Repeal the service provision changes from the regulations
  • Remove the requirement for Employee Liability Information
  • Modification of the wording of the restrictions on changes to terms and conditions and protection against dismissal so that they are more in line with the wording of the Directive and the case law of the Court of Justice

The Government has prepared an Impact Assessment, and an Equalities Impact Assessment covering the proposals.

Have your say and provide your views on the changes (consultation closes on 11 April 2013):
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transfer-of-undertakings-protection-of-employment-regulations-tupe-2006-consultation-on-proposed-changes

 

Consultation period for collective redundancies to halve

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills recently announced plans to change the rules on collective redundancies. The apparent purpose of those changes is to boost business by increasing the quality of the consultation process and by giving employers more flexibility to react to changes in the market. However concerns have been raised that the new minimum consultation period of 45 days will, in practice, be considered as the maximum and employees will therefore receive less pay.

To read more:
http://news.bis.gov.uk/Press-Releases/Boost-for-business-as-government-sets-out-plans-to-update-employment-legislation-68512.aspx

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/36737/12-1352-collective-redundancies-government-response-to-consultation.pdf

Fitness for work -­ Help to manage sickness absence

According to the Department for Work and Pensions a new Health & Work Advisory and Assessment Service will be introduced in 2014. The objective is to help both employers and employees to better manage sickness absence. It will carry out an independent occupational health review which includes recommendations on action points to help employees return to work. The health assessment will be available once an employee is absent for four weeks or more.
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/health-at-work-gov-response.pdf

 

Further consultations launched by the Government:

Proposals to implement the Acas Early Conciliation (EC) process
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/early-conciliation-consultation-on-proposals-for-implementation

Reforming the regulatory framework for employment agencies and employment businesses
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-reforming-the-regulatory-framework-for-employment-agencies-and-employment-businesses