Guest Post by Linder Myers
The government has made a number of employment law changes in April 2013 that employers need to know about.
Through having a clear understanding of the alterations and amendments usually made in April and October every year, employers can make sure that their policies and procedures reflect any changes, which can serve to protect them from falling into pitfalls that could result in Employment Tribunal claims being brought against their business.
In a collective redundancy procedure, the consultation period will be reduced from 100 to 45 days. It has also been made clear that employees on fixed term contracts don’t have to be included. New ACAS guidelines have also been introduced to support both employers and workers during the consultation period.
Statutory pay increase
Statutory pay goes up every year, but it has been limited to a one percent rise for the next three years. This includes statutory sick pay along with statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay. Meanwhile, there will also be an increase in parental leave, where workers can take a maximum of 18 weeks rather than 13.
National minimum wage boost
While the national minimum wage is due to increase in October 2013, the government is set to publish clearer regulations in April. This will reduce the 17 currently in place into one clear set of rules to provide employers with a greater understanding of how to apply them correctly.
Dismissal claim changes
Those dismissed as a result of political reasons or opinions won’t need to have completed two year’s service in order to pursue an unfair dismissal claim. However, the employee will still need to prove that the dismissal was unfair, and each claim will be judged on its own circumstances and facts. The claimant will also still have access to the standard compensation levels.
Amendments to the Equality Act
The government has made the decision to remove provisions surrounding third party harassment, where an employee claims against his employer when they are subject to harassment from such persons as a customer or supplier on three separate occasions, and the employer fails to take appropriate action.
The discrimination questionnaire procedure will also be removed, where a worker could send their employer a list questions, and use the answers to determine whether they should pursue a discrimination claim.
Of course, if you need further information about the April 2013 changes, you can enlist the help of specialist employment law solicitors who can provide you with further insight into the alterations. An expert legal team can also make sure that your policies, procedures and documents all adhere to the changes, helping you and your workers to avoid any currently unforeseen problems.