Latest changes in Employment Law – The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013
25th June 2013 will see the introduction of some changes in employment law, with further changes expected later in the year and early 2014.
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (“the Act”) received Royal Assent on 25th April 2013. The changes include:
- The new tribunal procedural rules;
- Changes to whistleblowing; and
- Removal of the 2 year qualifying period for unfair dismissal where the main reason for dismissal is the employee’s political opinions or affiliations.
The new tribunal procedural rules
The aim of the Act is to improve the current employment tribunal system by encouraging parties to settle their disputes through Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services (ACAS) before lodging an employment tribunal claim. This will potentially increase the use of settlement agreements.
Changes to whistleblowing
The changes will allow individuals to whistleblow in matters of public interest. This will remove claims for private matters in the employment tribunal. The requirement that the disclosure must be made in good faith will be removed and vicarious liability will be imposed on employers for detriments or harassment by employees on other workers.
Political opinions or affiliations
This move follows the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) decision in the case of Redfearn v United Kingdom.
This case involved the dismissal of a bus driver due to his election as a local councillor for the British National Party.
The Government has confirmed that it will not appeal the ruling, and will amend legislation to comply with the ECHR’s decision.
Further expected changes include:
- New caps on the compensatory award – summer 2013;
- Fees for bringing employment tribunal claims – summer 2013;
- Confidential termination negotiations – summer 2013;
- Employee shareholder status – 1st September 2013;
- Changes to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) 2006 – October 2013;
- ACAS early conciliation – early 2014;
- Financial penalties for employers – 2014;
- Changes to the Equality Act 2010 – TBC.
Laura Allanson of BHW Solicitors in Leicester regularly writes about latest developments in employment law. Contact Laura on 0116 281 6237 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details of BHW's employment services can be found at https://bhwsolicitors.com/employment/.