1 February 2006
Changes to statutory compensation limits
Limit on a week's pay for calculating the basic award for unfair dismissal and statutory redundancy pay increased from 280 to 290 per week. Limit on compensatory award for unfair dismissal increased from 56,800 to 58,400.
26 March 2006
Smoking ban in Scotland
Smoking in enclosed public places, including workplaces, will be prohibited.
Unified tribunal service
The Employment Appeals Service, which administers the Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunal, will be merged into a single service with other non-employment tribunal services. The new service will have the capacity to explore alternative methods of resolving disputes.
Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay and statutory sick pay
The standard rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will increase from 106 to 108.85 per week.
The standard rate of statutory sick pay will increase from 68.20 to 70.05 per week.
6 April 2006
Regulations requiring employers to consult with prospective and active members of pension schemes before making significant or major changes to the schemes will be introduced.
A new tax regime for pensions comes into force. Key changes include the abolition of the existing earnings cap limiting contributions and the introduction of a lifetime allowance.
New code of practice on racial discrimination
The Commission for Racial Equality's new Code of Practice on racial equality in employment will replace the existing 1984 version of the code. Recommendations in the code must be taken into account by employment tribunals.
Transfer of undertakings (TUPE)
New TUPE Regulations implementing the amended Acquired Rights Directive will be brought into force. Key proposed changes will include:
Application of TUPE more comprehensively to service contracting operations.
A requirement for transferors to provide transferees with information about transferring employees.
An express provision that transfer-related changes to terms and conditions for an economic, technical or organisational reason will be permitted.