Every year brings with it some important new employment legislation for the employer to negotiate. Whether related to unfair dismissal, pensions, employment tribunals or redundancy, 2012 presents new legislation relevant to all organisations, large or small. Read our guide to the six key updates to make sure you are ready for the year ahead.
1. Qualifying period for unfair dismissal protection is increased
The biggest change to employment rights for 2012 is the increase of the qualifying period for an employee to bring an unfair dismissal claim from one year to two years. This change comes into force on 6 April 2012. The Government has said that it intends to increase the qualifying period for unfair dismissal to "provide more time for employers and employees to resolve difficulties, give employers greater confidence in taking on people and ease the burden on the employment tribunal process".
- Qualifying period for unfair dismissal to be increased
- Employment law manual: Unfair dismissal - rights on termination
- Unfair dismissal: crackdown on tribunal claims
- Increasing the unfair dismissal qualification period
2. Pensions auto-enrolment begins
In what may prove to be one of the biggest challenges of the year for larger employers, starting from 1 October 2012, employers with 50 or more employees have to enrol eligible employees automatically, and make mandatory employer contributions, into a qualifying workplace pension scheme or the National Employment Savings Trust (Nest).