Hot on the heels of June’s employment law changes come another raft of measures, relevant to all organisations, which come into force on 29 July 2013. Personnel Today sets out five things that employers and HR professionals need to know about the new legislation.
1. Compromise agreements renamed settlement agreements
Compromise agreements will be renamed “settlement agreements”. The use of these will be facilitated by new rules in relation to pre-termination negotiations.
2. Pre-termination negotiations become inadmissible in unfair dismissal proceedings
Evidence of “pre-termination negotiations” between an employer and employee will be inadmissible in ordinary unfair dismissal claims. This goes further than the “without prejudice” principle as it will apply even where no formal dispute has yet arisen. The legislation applies to negotiations held with a view to terminating employment under a settlement agreement.
- Implementation date for pre-termination negotiation provisions announced.
- Can an employee rely on confidential pre-termination negotiations with the employer as evidence in a tribunal claim?
3. Claimants start paying a fee to submit a claim to an employment tribunal
Claimants who issue a claim against their employer in the employment tribunal are required to pay a fee. Fees will also be payable by respondents in some circumstances.
- Fees for tribunal claims introduced.
- What fees does a claimant have to pay when bringing an employment tribunal claim?
- What fees are payable when a party appeals to the Employment Appeal Tribunal?
- Can employment tribunal fees be waived if the claimant cannot afford to pay?
- In what circumstances are respondents required to pay tribunal fees?
- What happens if a claimant submits an employment tribunal claim without the required fee?
4. New employment tribunal rules
Changes to mployment tribunal rules include combining pre-hearing reviews and case management discussions into a preliminary hearing, revised powers for tribunal judges to strike out weak cases and a requirement that an employment tribunal must, where appropriate, encourage parties to use alternative dispute resolution.
- Government publishes new employment tribunal rules.
- What are preliminary hearings?
- Does an employment tribunal have the power to strike out a weak case?
- Is there anything that an employer can do if it misses the deadline for submitting a response to an employment tribunal claim?
5. Reduced cap on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal introduced
An individual cap of 12 months’ pay in relation to the compensatory award for unfair dismissal is introduced. The individual cap will apply where this amount is less than the overall cap, currently £74,200.
- Compensatory award limit for unfair dismissal amended.
- What is the unfair dismissal compensatory award?
More key employment law developments are coming into force in 2013, including a new tier of employment status: “employee shareholders”. Keep up to date with all the forthcoming changes using the XpertHR legal timetable.
This article was originally published earlier in July 2013.