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Companies need to keep a beady eye on changes to Employment Legislation in order to ensure that they keep up to date and therefore continue to protect themselves.
2012 brings a number of key changes and I thought it would be useful to highlight these. Some occur as earlier as February whilst others aren’t effective until as late as October. I will keep you posted with more detailed comments and reminders as we get closer to the various implementation dates.
Statutory redundancy payments and guarantee payments increase – 1st February:
- The maximum amount of a week’s pay used to calculate a statutory redundancy payment and the basic awards for unfair dismissal increases from £400 to £430.
- The maximum unfair dismissal compensatory award increases from £68,400 to £72,300.
- The limit on the amount of a guarantee payment payable to an employee in respect of any day increases from £22.20 to £23.50.
Maternity, paternity, adoption and sick pay increase – 1st April:
- The standard rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will increase from £128.73 to £135.45 per week.
- Statutory sick pay will increase from £81.60 to £85.85 per week.
Qualifying period for unfair dismissal protection is increase – 6th April:
From April this year the qualifying period for employees to bring an unfair dismissal claim will go up from 1 year to 2 years. The Government has pointed out that this move has been made in order to “provide more time for employers and employees to resolve difficulties, giving employers greater confidence in taking on people and ease the burden on the Employment Tribunal process.
Changes to Employment Tribunal procedure – 6th April:
- Employment judges will hear unfair dismissal cases alone in the tribunal unless they direct otherwise.
- Payment as a condition to continuing with tribunal proceedings will increase from £500 to £1,000.
- The maximum amount of a costs order, which a Tribunal may award in favour of a legally represented party, will increase from £10,000 to £20,000.
Pensions auto-enrolment begins – 1st October:
Perhaps the change with the biggest impact will come from implementing the pensions auto-enrolment. Employers with 50 or more employees have to enrol eligible employees automatically, and make mandatory employer contributions, into a qualifying workplace pension scheme or the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).