There are five key areas where significant changes to employment legislation have been confirmed for 2012. These fall into the categories of pay for authorised leave (e.g sick leave and maternity/paternity/adoption leave), pensions, redundancy payments, tribunals and unfair dismissal.
1) Increase in statutory redundancy payments and guarantee payments from 1st February 2012
- The maximum amount of a week’s pay used to calculate a statutory redundancy payment and the basic and additional awards for unfair dismissal will increase from £400 to £430.
- The maximum guaranteed payment payable to an employee in respect of any day will increase from £22.20 to £23.50.
- The maximum award for compensation for unfair dismissal will increase from £68,400 to £72,300.
2) Increases in statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and sick pay from April 2012
- 1st April: Standard rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will increase from £128.73 to £135.45 per week.
- 6th April: Statutory sick pay will increase from £81.60 to £85.85 per week.
3) Increase in qualifying period for unfair dismissal from 6th April 2012
- The qualifying period for an employee to bring an unfair dismissal claim will increase from one year to two years.
4) Changes to employment tribunal procedures from 6th April 2012
- Employment judges will hear unfair dismissal cases alone in the tribunal, unless they direct otherwise.
- The maximum amount of a deposit order to continue with tribunal proceedings will increase from £500 to £1,000.
- The maximum amount of a costs order will increase from £10,000 to £20,000.
- Witness statements must be taken “as read” unless a tribunal directs otherwise.
5) Automatic enrolment in pensions from 1st October 2012
- From 1st October 2012, employers with 50 or more employees must automatically enrol eligible employees into a qualifying workplace pension scheme or the National Employment Savings Trust (Nest).
- Payment of employer contributions will be mandatory.
Specific dates for other changes have not yet been published but proposals in the pipeline include:
- the introduction of employment tribunal fees
- the introduction of “protected conversations” in the workplace
- debate around the law on TUPE
- possible amendments to laws surrounding collective redundancy consultation
Consultations will also take place on reforming the law on employment disputes and removing the third-party harassment provisions of the Equality Act 2010.
Triangle HR can help you keep up to date with developments in employment legislation. Call Justine on 01743 453170 or email email@example.com