Employment law: A look ahead
The Chancellor’s recent Autumn Statement has confirmed some of the proposed changes to employment regulations previously trialled by the Business Secretary. Many of the changes appear to be designed to ensure a faster movement of cases through the Tribunals, which at the moment are very busy.
The key proposed changes are as follows:
• An increase in the qualifying period from one year to two years from April 2012.
• An emphasis on early conciliation of Tribunal claims by requiring all potential claimants to submit their claim to ACAS.
• Consideration of a “Rapid Resolution” scheme to allow low value claims to be determined more quickly and cheaply.
• A review of the collective consultation provisions for redundancies e.g. reducing the statutory 90 day consultation period for over 100 redundancies.
• Changes to the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure. For example, allowing a judge to sit alone for unfair dismissal cases.
• An emphasis on mediation.
• The introduction of financial penalties on employers who have breached employment rights. This penalty would be payable to the Exchequer and would be in addition to the award made to the Claimant.
• A consultation on the introduction of fees for anyone wishing to bring an Employment Tribunal claim.
• Introduction of “protected conversations” which will allow employers to have a conversation about any employment issue with their employees without adverse repercussions.
This is a flavour of what may lie ahead in the world of Employment Law and we will keep you updated with any changes that are implemented.
For further advice please contact Marsha Robinson on 01245 495111.