Employment Updates - August 2013

August 2013

Employment Updates - August 2013

Collective Redundancy

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) has recently decided (in USDAW and Ors v WW Realisation 1 Ltd (in Liquidation) [2013] UKEAT) that employers seeking to make 20 or more redundancies over a period of 90 days will have to consult collectively with employee representatives, irrespective of whether those employees are based at one large site or over several locations.  This is despite the relevant legislation in the UK providing that this duty to consult is only triggered where there are more than 20 employees at risk of redundancy at a single establishment.  This “single establishment test” is, therefore, no longer applicable, although it is understood that the Government will be appealing the EAT’s decision. 

Employee Shareholders

From 1 September 2013 there will be a third employment status, that of “employee shareholder”.  This will be the status of an employee who forgoes certain employment protections, including the right to claim ordinary unfair dismissal and to a statutory redundancy payment, in return for shares worth at least £2,000 in their employer.       

Subject Access Requests

The Information Commissioner has published a Code of Practice on how to deal with subject access requests for personal information from individuals under the Data Protection Act 1988.  This Code of Practice, which provides guidance for data controllers on how to respond to subject access requests and gives examples, can be found at:

http://www.ico.org.uk/news/latest_news/2013/~/media/documents/library/Data_Protection/Detailed_specialist_guides/subject-access-code-of-practice.pdf

Employment Updates - July 2013

 

 

Fees Payable in the Employment Tribunal - Reminder

 

Just a quick reminder that as from Monday 29 July 2013 fees are payable to present a complaint to the Employment Tribunal.  For a complaint of unfair dismissal, the fee to issue the proceedings is £250, with a further fee of £950 payable in advance of the hearing.  These fees are payable by the employee unless they qualify for remission.  If the complaint is upheld, however, it is likely that the employer will be ordered to repay the amount of these fees to the employee.    

 

New employment tribunal rules of procedure also come into force on 29 July 2013. 

 

 

Unfair Dismissal Cap

 

From Monday 29 July 2013 the maximum compensatory award payable for a successful complaint of unfair dismissal changes to £74,200 (the current limit) or one year’s pay, whichever is the lower. 

 

 

Pre-Termination Negotiations

 

Confidential pre-termination negotiations come into force on 29 July 2013.  From this date, employers can make offers of settlement to employees even where there is no current dispute and these offers cannot be used as evidence in cases of ordinary unfair dismissal (unless there was some ‘improper behaviour’ by the employer). 

 

Also from 29 July 2013 Compromise Agreements are re-named “Settlement Agreements”. 

 

ACAS has published a Code of Practice to accompany the above, which can be found at:

 

http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/j/8/Acas-Code-of-Practice-on-Settlement-Agreements.pdf.

 

 

Sickness & Holiday

 

Currently, employers have to provide workers with 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday, which is made up of 4 weeks’ ordinary leave and 1.6 weeks’ additional leave.  Although workers should be allowed to carry over the 4 weeks’ ordinary leave to the next leave year if they are unable to take holiday due to sickness, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently ruled that the 1.6 weeks’ additional leave does not carry over automatically in the absence of any agreement between the parties.  The case in question is Sood Enterprises v Healy [2013] UKEAT