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Key 2013 Employment Law Changes Update

Posted by on 02 January, 2013

With the Christmas trees put away and the fall out of the Christmas party dealt with it is time to look at the key changes to employment law this year that all employers need to be aware of. We have summarised some of the key changes below.

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill Implementation

The widely publicised Bill will usher in various changes to employment law this year. There are many changed including:

  • “Protected conversations” shall be introduced;
  • Prospective tribunal claimants will have to send information about their claim to ACAS before starting proceedings;
  • Employment Tribunal Appeals (EAT) will be held in front of a single judge;
  • Fines introduced for employers who breach employees’ rights and there is an “aggravating” feature;
  • Compromise agreement are to be renamed “settlement agreements”.

Fee for Bringing Employment Tribunal Claims Introduced

From the summer all prospective claimants who are not eligible for a fee remission will have to pay a tribunal fee. The result is a 2 level fee system for claimants meaning a cost of £400-£1200 for claimants. “Level 1” claims shall have an issue fee of £160 and a hearing fee of £230. “Level 2” claims shall have an issue fee of £250 and the hearing fee shall be £950.

New Tribunal Award Limits

New tribunal award limits will come into force this year:

  • The limit for an unfair dismissal award changes £72,300 to £74,200 on 1 February 2013.
  • A "week's pay" for calculating a basic or additional award of compensation for unfair dismissal or redundancy payment will go from £430 to £450.

Redundancy Collective consultation Period Reduced

From the 6th April 2013, where 100 or more redundancies are proposed a 45 day consultation period shall apply.

Statutory maternity (SMP) Paternity, Adoption and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to Increase

The standard rates of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increase from April 2013. From the 6th April 2013, the rate of SMP, paternity and adoption pay goes from £135.45 to £136.78 per week. SSP will increase from £85.85 to £86.70 per week.

Unpaid Parental Leave Increases to 18 weeks

From the 8th March 2013 the right to unpaid parental leave will increase from 13 weeks to 18 weeks.

School Leaving Age Increased

All young people in England shall be required to be in education or training until they are at least 17.

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