Forthcoming employment legislation in 2012

Peninsula Team

January 13 2012

Date What’s happening?
1st February New tribunal award limits come into force including an increase to the maximum Unfair Dismissal award to £85,200
By 8th March Parental Leave entitlement increases to 4 months
6th April Qualifying service for an unfair dismissal claim increases to 2 years

Various tribunal reforms take effect, including having witness statements taken as read unless directed otherwise by the tribunal
9th April Increase to weekly rate of Statutory Sick Pay to £85.85

Increase to weekly rate of Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Additional Paternity and Adoption Pay to £135.45
5th June  Extra Bank Holiday in celebration of Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
1st October Pension auto enrolment and compulsory employer contributions for companies with 120,000 employees or more

National Minimum Wage increase (to be confirmed)

The following developments are also likely to take place during 2012, however, these are subject to confirmation:

• Amendments to Working Time legislation to provide for the carry over of annual leave in limited circumstances;
• Penalties to be paid to the Exchequer, in addition to tribunal awards, for employers who breach employment legislation;
• Tribunal claims to be submitted to ACAS in the first instance, not the tribunal, for attempts at early conciliation;
• Amendments to whistleblowing legislation which will prevent disclosures in relation to breaches of employment contracts;
• Compromise agreements to be renamed ‘settlement agreements’ and their use simplified;
• ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures to be reviewed with a view to the creation of a simpler dismissal process;
• Consultations on:
- ‘protected conversations’ in which employers and employees will be able to discuss employment issues without the risk of dispute
- a ‘rapid resolution scheme’ as an alternative to tribunal for straightforward claims
- charging fees to lodge a tribunal claim

For any further information, please call our 24 Hour Advice Service on 0844 892 2772.

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