Law Reforms and developments coming into force 6th April 2014
Below is a brief outline of the changes due to take place in April:
1. Early ACAS conciliation
The"Early Conciliation" (EC) scheme is a compulsory obligation for the Claimant to notify ACAS prior to bringing forth a tribunal claim. This will come into force in April but will be mandatory in May.
2. Increased statutory rates
Statutory sick pay (SSP) will increase from £86.70 to £87.55
Statutory maternity pay will increase £136.78 to £138.18
Statutory adoption pay paternity pay and additional statutory paternity pay will increase from £136.78 to £138.18
3. Financial penalties in tribunals
Employment Tribunals will be able to impose penalties on the losing employer/respondent if they are found to have breached the employee’s rights and there are ‘aggravating features’.
This award will range from £100 to £5000 and is halved if paid within 21 days.
4. Increased tribunal awards
The maximum compensatory award that a Claimant employee could be awarded in an unfair dismissal claim will increase from £74200 to £76574. The effective date of dismissal must fall on or after the 6th April 2014 for this to take effect.
The maximum amount of a week’s pay used to calculate various awards such as redundancy will also increase from £450 to £464.
The maximum statutory redundancy payment will increase from £13500 to £13920.
5. Removal of discrimination questionnaires
The Equality Act 2010 will be amended to abolish the discrimination questionnaire.
6. Sickness absence reforms
Statutory sick pay (SSP) record keeping obligations will be abolished and employers will be able to keep records in a manner which best suits the organisation.
Also the percentage threshold scheme which allows employers to reclaim SSP from HMRC will be abolished.
Author: Nicola Williams