We set out some changes to employment law which are expected to come into force in 2013.
- Increase in cap on compensatory award and statutory redundancy pay A number of statutory maximum awards are due to be increased with effect from 1 February 2013 including the cap on the compensatory award and statutory redundancy pay. For more details, please see our earlier update here.
- Parental leave Unpaid parental leave will increase from 13 to 18 weeks on 8 March 2013 to comply with the European Parental Leave Directive. For more details of Government proposals on family friendly reforms, please see our update here.
- Third party harassment The provisions of the Equality Act 2010 which deal expressly with harassment of employees by third parties are to be repealed in March 2013 as are those relating to the discrimination questionnaire procedure. For more details on these proposals please see our update here.
- Annual increase in statutory payments The annual increase in the rates of certain statutory payments such as statutory sick pay and statutory maternity pay are due to take effect on 6 April and 7 April 2013 respectively. Fore more details on the proposed increases, please see our update here.
- Collective redundancy Recently announcedchanges to collective redundancy rules are expected to take effect from 6 April 2013. For more details, please see our update here.
- Employee shareholders The Government intends to push ahead with plans to implement employee shareholder status in April 2013. For more details, please see our update here.
- New employment tribunal rules of procedure The Government has announced that it intends to bring new employment tribunal rules of procedure into force from April 2013, although its response to the consultation on the proposed rules has not been published, so the extent of the proposed changes is unclear. For details of the earlier consultation, please see our update here.
- Whistleblowing The ability to bring a whistleblowing claim will be limited to circumstances where the protected disclosure is made in the "public interest". The Government has recently announced that this proposal will come into effect from April 2013. We will keep you updated on developments in this area.
- Fees in the employment tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal The Government has said it intends to introduce the new charging system to use the employment tribunal service and the EAT in the summer of 2013. For more details of the proposed new system, please see our update here.
Other expected changes in 2013
- The Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Bill The Bill is making its way through Parliament and is expected to come into force this year. Proposed provisions include:
- requiring employment tribunal claims to be submitted first to ACAS to allow a period of conciliation before the claim is filed at the employment tribunal; and
- with certain caveats, permitting employers to make an offer to or hold discussions with an employee concerning the termination of their employment without that being taken to account by an employment tribunal in any subsequent unfair dismissal claim.