Events 1 to 43 of 43
Whistleblowing legislation amended
25 June 2013
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 amends s.43B of the Employment Rights Act 1996. A disclosure is not protected unless the employee reasonably believes that the disclosure is made in the public interest. Further, a disclosure no longer needs to be made "in good faith". Where a disclosure is not made in good faith, the employment tribunal will be able to reduce compensation by up to 25%. Further, an employer is vicariously liable where a worker is subjected to a detriment by a colleague because he or she made a protected disclosure, unless the employer has taken all reasonable steps to prevent the detriment. The Act (PDF format, 1MB) can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 amends tribunal procedure
25 June 2013
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 prescribes that proceedings before the Employment Appeal Tribunal will be heard by a judge sitting alone, unless a judge directs otherwise. It also introduces greater flexibility in the use of deposit orders and makes changes to the use of costs orders and payments for preparation time. The Act (PDF format, 1MB) can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims for political opinions removed
25 June 2013
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 amends the Employment Rights Act 1996 to remove the two-year qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims where the reason for dismissal is the employee's political opinions or affiliation. The Act (PDF format, 1MB) can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Duty to participate in education or training until 17 comes into force
The Education and Skills Act 2008 changes the statutory framework placing a duty on all young people in England to participate in education or training until the age of 17 (increasing to 18 in 2015). It applies to those who have reached the age of 16 by the end of August 2013. The Act also amends legislation about the provision of adult education and training, and support for young people. The Act can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Fees for tribunal claims introduced
Claimants who issue a claim against their employer in the employment tribunal are required to pay a fee. There are two levels of claim, depending on the complexity of the case, set out in the draft Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 (on the UK legislation website). The claimant pays an initial fee to issue a claim and a further fee if the claim proceeds to a hearing. The tribunal may order the fees to be repaid to the claimant if he or she is successful with his or her claim. Fees are also payable for appeals submitted to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
Portable DBS checks introduced
Once a Disclosure and Barring Service (previously Criminal Records Bureau) check has been conducted, the results will be available online to enable employers to confirm that no new information has been added since the check was originally made. This means that an employee will not have to obtain a new check each time he or she starts a new job. The amendments to the scheme were announced by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, in a speech on reforming employment relations made on 23 November 2011 (on the UK Government website). The Employment law reform progress report (PDF format, 511K) (on the UK Government website) confirms that the new system will be in place by summer 2013.
Compensatory award limit for unfair dismissal amended
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 gives the Secretary of State the power to amend the maximum amount of the unfair dismissal compensatory award. The Act prescribes that the amount may be no less than the median annual earnings and no more than three times the median annual earnings, or no less than 52 times the claimant's weekly pay. In January 2013, the Government announced that it will introduce an individual cap of 12 months' pay, which will apply where this amount is less than the overall cap. The Act (PDF format, 1MB) can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Compromise agreements renamed settlement agreements
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 renames compromise agreements "settlement agreements". A statutory code of practice sets out the broad principles for using settlement agreements, and model letters, a model settlement agreement and supporting guidance provide further guidance on settlement agreements. The Act (PDF format, 1MB) can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Pre-termination negotiations inadmissible in unfair dismissal claims
Conversations between an employer and an employee or an offer made prior to the termination of employment, with a view to terminating employment on agreed terms, may not be taken into account by an employment tribunal when determining an unfair dismissal claim. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (PDF format, 1MB), which introduces the provision, can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Revised employment tribunal rules come into force
The Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure are revised to simplify and streamline the process for dealing with employment tribunal claims. Changes to the rules include combining pre-hearing reviews and case management discussions into a preliminary hearing, new strike out powers and a standalone rule to encourage alternative dispute resolution. The Government has confirmed that the rules will be issued in May 2013 in time for implementation in summer 2013.
Employee-owner contract introduced
1 September 2013
The Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 (PDF format, 231K) (on the UK legislation website) introduces the "employee-owner" contract, a new type of employment contract. Employee-owners/employee-shareholders will be given between £2,000 and £50,000 of shares in the business, which will be exempt from capital gains tax, in exchange for foregoing certain employment rights. They will not have the "ordinary" unfair dismissal protection after two years' continuous service. They will be unable to make statutory requests to work flexibly or in relation to study or training, and will not be protected against dismissal for making either of these statutory requests, except in relation to a flexible working request on return from parental leave. Employee-owners will not be eligible for statutory redundancy pay, and will have to give 16 weeks' notice to return early from maternity or adoption leave, as compared with eight weeks for employees.
Shareholders given binding votes on pay policy
By October 2013
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 amends the Companies Act 2006 to give shareholders the power to approve directors' pay on the approval of the directors' remuneration report and to give shareholders a binding vote on pay policy and exit payments. The Act (PDF format, 1MB) can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Welfare Reform Act 2012 introduces universal credit
The Welfare Reform Act 2012 replaces a number of benefits and tax credits that people receive when they are in and out of work with universal credit. It also introduces personal independence payments to replace disability living allowance. The Act is coming into force in stages, with universal credit introduced in October 2013. The Welfare Reform Act 2012 (PDF format, 592K) can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Changes to TUPE come into force
The Government's progress report Employment law reform 2013: progress on reform (PDF format, 511K) (on the UK Government website) confirms that changes to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/246), in relation to which the Government launched a consultation in February 2013, come into force in October 2013.
National minimum wage increases to £6.31 per hour
1 October 2013
The main rate of the national minimum wage rises from £6.19 to £6.31 per hour. The youth rate increases from £4.98 to £5.03 per hour and the rate for workers aged 16 to 17 increases from £3.68 to £3.72 per hour. The apprentice rate increases from £2.65 to £2.68 per hour, and the accommodation offset increases from £4.82 to £4.91 per day.
Periods after which convictions become spent reduced
To be confirmed
The Government proposes to reduce the period of time after completing their sentence that some offenders are required to declare their conviction to prospective employers. However, the new rehabilitation periods will start from the point an offender completes his or her sentence, rather than at the date of conviction. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Formulae for uprating employment tribunal awards modified
To be confirmed
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 amends the formulae for uprating various tribunal awards and statutory redundancy payments. Awards will be rounded to the nearest pound. The Act (PDF format, 1MB) can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Rapid resolution scheme introduced
To be confirmed
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (PDF format, 1MB) (on the UK legislation website) introduces the concept of "legal officers", who may determine specified types of employment tribunal claims if all parties to a dispute consent in writing. The Government's intention to introduce a "rapid resolution" scheme, as a quicker and cheaper alternative for resolving low-value straightforward employment disputes, was announced in its response to the consultation on resolving workplace disputes (PDF format, 364K) (on the BIS website).
Third-party harassment provisions in Equality Act repealed
To be confirmed
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 repeals s.40(2) to (4) of the Equality Act 2010, which provides that the employer will, in certain circumstances, be liable where an individual is harassed by a third party. The Act (PDF format, 1MB) can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Tribunal procedure in discrimination cases amended
To be confirmed
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 repeals s.138 of the Equality Act 2010, which sets out the procedure that enables an individual to obtain information from the employer about discrimination and provides for the information to be used as evidence in tribunal proceedings. It also introduces a provision that requires employment tribunals to order an equal pay audit where the employer has breached the equal pay provisions under the Equality Act 2010, except in prescribed circumstances. The Act (PDF format, 1MB) can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Changes to strict liability come into force
To be confirmed
Section 69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (PDF format, 1MB) (on the UK legislation website) amends the strict liability provisions under s.47 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Tax-free loans to employees extended
To be confirmed
The Chancellor, George Osborne, announced in Budget 2013 (on the HM Treasury website) an increase from £5,000 to £10,000 in the amount that employers can lend to their employees on a tax-free basis.
Presumption of self-employment for limited liability partnerships removed
To be confirmed
The Chancellor, George Osborne, announced in Budget 2013 (on the HM Treasury website) the removal of the presumption of self-employment for limited liability partnership (LLP) partners. This aims to address the act of disguising employment relationships through LLPs and the artificial allocation of profits to partners to achieve a tax advantage.
Police Act 1997 (Criminal Record Certificates: Relevant Matters) (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2013 comes into force
To be confirmed
The order amends the definition of "relevant matter" in the Police Act 1997, which sets out what the Disclosure and Barring Service should disclose in response to an application for a criminal records certificate or an enhanced criminal records certificate. The order is made following the Court of Appeal judgment in R (on the application of T) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester and others  EWCA Civ 25 CA. The draft order can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2013 comes into force
To be confirmed
The order changes the range of spent convictions and cautions covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (SI 1975/1023), so that some spent convictions and cautions do not have to be disclosed by candidates for a role and may not be taken into account by employers when making recruitment decisions. The order is made following the Court of Appeal judgment in R (on the application of T) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester and others  EWCA Civ 25 CA. The draft order can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Deregulation Bill comes into force
To be confirmed
The Deregulation Bill removes the power of employment tribunals to make wider recommendations in discrimination cases from the Equality Act 2010. It also exempts from health and safety law those self-employed people whose work activities pose no potential risk of harm to others.
Early conciliation comes into force
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 requires potential claimants to lodge details of their proposed employment tribunal claim with Acas in the first instance. Acas will offer the parties the opportunity to engage in conciliation with a conciliation officer for a prescribed period. Where the conciliation officer concludes that a settlement is not possible, or where the prescribed period ends without reaching a settlement, the claimant will be issued with a certificate permitting him or her to issue proceedings. The Acas website confirms that the new system will be introduced in April 2014. The Act (PDF format, 1MB) can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Income tax personal allowance increased
The Chancellor, George Osborne, announced in Budget 2013 (on the HM Treasury website) an increase in the income tax personal allowance to £10,000.
Employment allowance introduced
The Chancellor, George Osborne, announced in Budget 2013 (on the HM Treasury website) that all businesses, including charities, are entitled to receive an employment allowance of £2,000 per annum towards their employer national insurance contributions bill.
Flexible working for all employees
The Children and Families Bill extends the right to request flexible working to all employees. Currently, the right applies to employees who have children under the age of 17 (18 if a child is disabled) or who are carers. The statutory flexible working procedure for considering requests is replaced with a duty on employers to deal with requests in a reasonable manner, and a statutory code of practice is introduced to give guidance as to the meaning of "reasonable". The Children and Families Bill can be viewed on the UK Parliament website.
Financial penalties imposed on employers that breach employment rights
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 gives tribunals the power to levy a financial penalty against employers that are in breach of employment rights where the breach has one or more aggravating features. If the tribunal makes an award of compensation, the amount of the penalty will be 50% of the award. The penalty is subject to a minimum threshold of £100 and an upper ceiling of £5,000. Employers will qualify for a reduction of 50% if they pay the penalty within 21 days. The Act (PDF format, 1MB) can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
New approach to managing sickness absence introduced
A new health and work assessment and advisory service is introduced in spring 2014, offering free occupational health assistance to employees, employers and GPs, including an independent assessment of employees who have been off sick for four weeks. The Government also abolishes the statutory sick pay record-keeping obligations and the percentage threshold scheme that provides compensation for employers with high levels of sickness absence.
Age limit for unpaid parental leave extended to 18
The right to take unpaid parental leave currently applies to parents of children under five (or 18 if the child is disabled). It is extended to parents of any child under the age of 18.
Fathers gain right to time off for antenatal appointments
The Children and Families Bill (on the UK legislation website) enables expectant fathers, and partners of pregnant women, to take time off work to attend two antenatal appointments with the expectant mother. It also allows prospective adoptive parents to take time off "for the purpose of having contact with the child or for any other purpose connected with the adoption", and makes provision in relation to agency workers and antenatal and adoption appointments.
Surrogate parents eligible for adoption leave
The Children and Families Bill (on the UK legislation website) permits parents who have a child through a surrogacy arrangement to take ordinary paternity leave and pay, adoption leave and pay and shared parental leave and pay, provided that they meet the eligibility criteria. Both parents are also entitled to take unpaid time off work to attend two antenatal appointments with the woman carrying the child.
Shared parental leave introduced
The Government introduces "shared parental leave" alongside maternity, paternity and adoption leave, to give parents more flexibility as to when they take time off. Provided that the parents meet the eligibility criteria, mothers can commit to ending their maternity leave and pay at a future date, and share the untaken balance of leave and pay as "shared parental leave" with their partner. Both parents will be able to take leave at the same time. Parents will also be able to take time off in blocks, rather than all in one go, provided that the employer agrees. The Children and Families Bill, which introduces the entitlement, can be viewed on the UK Parliament website.
Duty to participate in education or training until 18 comes into force
The Education and Skills Act 2008 changes the statutory framework to put a duty on all young people in England to participate in education or training until the age of 18. The Act can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Tax-free childcare scheme comes into force
Families where both parents work and each parent earns less than £150,000 per year are eligible to receive 20% of their yearly childcare costs (up to £1,200 for each child). The scheme applies to parents with children aged under five, but will be extended to parents with children aged under 12.
Single-tier state pension introduced
The Chancellor, George Osborne, confirmed in Budget 2013 (on the HM Treasury website) the introduction of a single-tier state pension, ending the ability to contract out of the state second pension.
Equalisation of state pension age for women
The state pension age for women is equalised with the state pension age for men. The Pensions Act 2011 equalises the state pension age for women by November 2018, with an expedited increase from April 2016.
State pension age rises to 66 years
The Pensions Act 2007 raises the state pension age from 65 to 66 years to reflect the ageing nature of the population. The Pensions Act 2011 provides that the rise in the state pension age to 66 for men and women occurs in October 2020. The Pensions Act 2007 also raises the state pension age to 67 and 68. The Pensions Act 2007 and the Pensions Act 2011 can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
State pension age rises to 67 years
Between 2026 and 2028
The Pensions Act 2007 raises the state pension age for men and women to 67. This will occur between April 2026 and April 2028. The Act can be viewed on the UK legislation website, and the Chancellor's autumn statement (PDF format, 3.14MB), which confirms the implementation date of the rise in the state pension age, can be viewed on the HM Treasury website.
State pension age rises to 68 years
Between 2044 and 2046
The Pensions Act 2007 raises the state pension age for men and women to 68. This will occur between April 2044 and April 2046. The Act can be viewed on the UK legislation website.