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Employment Law Changes 2013/2014
- AuthorAnnette Wood
The following changes, relevant to employers and employees, take effect in March 2013:
Unpaid Parental leave
- The entitlement increased from 13 to 18 weeks on 8 March 2013;
- the Government has also indicated that, from 2015, it intends to increase the age limit on parental leave from the current 5 years to 18 years, providing each parent with the right to up to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave, for each child under the age of 18.
Changes to the Equality Act 2012
- Employer liability will be removed for acts of harassment by a third party;
- Statutory provisions relating to the Discrimination Questionnaire Procedure will be replaced with an informal non-legislative approach.
The following changes, relevant to employers and employees, take effect in April 2013:
- For 100 employees or more, the current minimum 90 day consultation period will be reduced to 45 days;
- For 20 to 99 employees, the consultation period will remain at 30 days.
- The standard rate for statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay and adoption pay, will increase from £135.45 to £136.78 on 7 April 2013. The weekly earnings threshold for these payments will rise from £107 to £109;
- Statutory sick pay will increase from £85.85 to £86.70, with the weekly earnings threshold rising from £107 to £109 on 6 April 2013;
- Maternity allowance will increase from £135.45 to £136.78 on 7 April 2013; however, the earnings threshold will remain at £30.
- Further changes proposed to take effect in Summer 2013:
Employment Tribunal Fees
- There will be an introduction of a new fee scheme; Claimants will pay an initial fee for lodging a claim and an additional fee for taking the claim to a hearing.
Bring an Employment Relationship to an End
- Compromise Agreements will be replaced with Settlement Agreements, as a means of ensuring that both employers and employees can propose and negotiate exit packages on a without prejudice basis.
- For unfair dismissal cases, awards will be capped at the lower of one year’s (gross) pay or £74,200.
Employment Right Act 1996
- Changes to the Whistle Blowing rules by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, will provide that workers cannot bring a Whistle Blowing claim relating to breach of their own contract, where it is not in the public interest.
Further changes planned to take effect in Autumn 2013 and Spring 2014:
For further information, please contact one of our Employment law specialists: