News & Events

What's on the horizon for 2013 and beyond?

By: Amanda Steadman

Submitted by Firm:
Addleshaw Goddard
Firm Contacts:
Michael Leftley, Sarah Harrop
Article Type:
Legal Update
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2013 is shaping up to be a momentous year from an employment law perspective as the Government's reform of the employment law landscape begins to take effect.  The forthcoming year will see the enactment of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, reforms to the collective redundancy regime and the introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunal and EAT for the first time.  We report here on the key developments expected in 2013 and beyond.

 

Impact Date

Development

Early 2013

Consultation on the new system of flexible parental leave to be published.  The consultation will cover the detail of how the new system will work.  For further information, see our report here.

Early 2013

Consultation on the new statutory ACAS Code of Practice on flexible working to be published.  ACAS are to publish a new statutory Code of Practice on how the new consideration process will work in the context of dealing with flexible working requests.  The Code will explain what reasonable means and how employers should deal with conflicting requests.  There will also be guidance on how flexible working rights interact with discrimination legislation.  For further information, see our report here.

1 February 2013

Certain Tribunal compensation limits will increase.  The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £72,300 to £74,200 and the maximum amount of a week's pay will rise from £430 to £450.

March 2013

The number of weeks unpaid parental leave will increase from 13 to 18 to comply with the revised EU Parental Leave Directive.  For further information, see our report here.

April 2013

The rates for various statutory payments such as statutory maternity and paternity pay will be increased.  Statutory maternity pay will increase from £135.45 to £136.78 per week and statutory sick pay will increase from £85.85 to £86.70 per week.

April 2013

New "employee shareholder" (formerly "employee owner") status to come into force by way of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill.  Employers will be able to offer employees between £2,000 to £50,000 worth of shares in their company (free of CGT) in exchange for them agreeing to give up certain rights in respect of unfair dismissal, redundancy and flexible working and to provide 16 weeks' notice of an early return date from maternity or adoption leave (instead of the usual 8 weeks' notice).

6 April 2013

Reforms to the collective redundancy regime to come into force (plus a new non-statutory ACAS guidance to be issued).   The consultation period for redundancy exercises involving 100+ employees within a 90 day period will be reduced from 90 days to 45 days.  In addition, fixed-term contracts which have reached the agreed termination point will be excluded from the collective redundancy regime.

Spring / Summer 2013

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to come into force.  It includes the following provisions:

  • Introduction of the ACAS pre-claim conciliation process before claims can be issued in the Employment Tribunal.
  • Introduction of a "Rapid Resolution" scheme where legal officers can determine claims.
  • EAT judges to sit alone (unless directed otherwise or in specified proceedings).
  • Introduction of new system of "protected conversations" (and new statutory ACAS Code of Practice, including template letters and settlement agreements) whereby employers can have off-the-record settlement discussions with employees (will apply to unfair dismissal claims only).
  • Variation of the compensatory award for unfair dismissal cap at 12 months' pay and overall cap of between £25,882 - £77,646.
  • Financial penalties for employers who breach employment rights where there are aggravating circumstances (maximum award: £5,000).
  • Introduction of a requirement that whistleblowing disclosures are made in the public interest.
  • Repeal of third party harassment provisions in the Equality Act 2010.
  • Abolition of discrimination questionnaires.
  • Introduction of mandatory equal pay audits.
  • Introduction of a power for Employment Tribunals to make deposit orders against specific claims.
  • Introduction of a power for Employment Tribunals to award costs and expenses to litigants in person.

Summer 2013

Introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunal and EAT to come into force.  For further information, see our report here.

Summer 2013

Reforms to the Employment Tribunal rules to come into force.  For further information, see our report here.

October 2013

Legislation requiring quoted companied to report on the gender balance within their company to come into force.  For further information, see our report here.

In 2013

Consultation on proposals to reform TUPE 2006 to be published.  For further information, see our report here.

In 2013

Response to the working time elements of the Modern Workplaces consultation to be published.  This will address issues such as the carry over of annual leave which is untaken due to sickness.

2014

Right to request flexible working extended to all employees who have 26 weeks' service. For further information, see our report here.

2014

ACAS guidance on handling flexible working requests and the interaction of discrimination legislation with flexible working rights to be published.

2015

The following family-friendly rights to come into force:

  • New right for fathers to attend up to two ante-natal appointments.
  • New system of flexible parental leave and pay.
  • Improved rights for those who become parents by way of adoption or surrogacy.
  • Age limit of child for purposes of parental leave to increase from 5 to 18 years.