The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill has been given Royal Assent and will therefore now be known as the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. It includes numerous employment law reforms – by way of summary, these are the main points:
- Reform of whistleblowing protection;
- Removal the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims where the reason for dismissal was the employee’s political opinion;
- Abolition the Agricultural Wages Board;
- Changes to the maximum unfair dismissal compensation figure and subsequent cap of 12 months’ pay;
- Requirement for tribunal claims to be made to Acas in the first instance so that conciliation can be offered (expected implementation April 2014);
- Imposition of financial penalties for employers who have breached employment rights (expected implementation spring 2014);
- Introduction of settlement agreements to terminate employment;
- Shift of the implementation date for statutory limit increases e.g. a weeks’ pay for redundancy pay purposes, from February to April each year and change the rounding up system;
- Removing 3rd party harassment liability and statutory discrimination questionnaires;
- Implementation of ability of tribunals to order an equal pay audit where an employer has breached equal pay legislation;
- Including ‘caste’ as an aspect of the protected characteristic of race.
The first four points above are expected to come into force on 25th June 2013.
For any further clarification, please call our 24 Hour Advice Service on 0844 892 2772.