6th April is a busy day for employment law! Spring always sees a raft of changes in terms of how to deal with problems in the workplace and this year is no different. See here for a brief rundown of what is happening in April.

Financial penalties will be introduced for employers who are found to have breached employment legislation where there are aggravating features present. The penalty will be payable to the Exchequer, in addition to the award and the fee reimbursement to the claimant. A minimum of £100 and a maximum of £5000 will be payable, and these will be applied to tribunal decisions for claims that are brought on or after 6th April 2014.

The rate for Statutory Sick Pay will increase to £87.55; Statutory Maternity Pay/Adoption Pay/Paternity Pay will increase to £138.18.

The maximum unfair dismissal compensatory award increases to £76,574 (subject to cap of 52 weeks’ pay).

Statutory guarantee pay increases to £25 per day.

The maximum week’s pay for statutory redundancy pay purposes will increase to £464.

The Early Conciliation system will be implemented, meaning that prospective claimants must inform Acas of their intention to claim so that Acas can attempt to conciliate. Claims will no longer be sent directly to the tribunal service.

The statutory discrimination questionnaire will be repealed and replaced with a more informal approach for employees who would like to pose questions to their employer about alleged discrimination.