Employment Sound Bites - October 2012

October 2012

Fees to be paid to present Employment Tribunal Complaints

From Summer 2013 Claimants who want to bring claims in the employment tribunals will have to pay a fee to do so.  There will be two fees, one to issue the claim and another for the hearing, and the amount of the fees will depend on whether the claim is a ‘level 1’ or ‘level 2’ claim.  ‘Level 1’ claims are claims of breach of contract, unauthorised deductions from wages, holiday pay, statutory time off rights, failure to pay a protective award and for a redundancy payment.  For these claims there will be an issue fee of £160 and a hearing fee of £230.  All other claims, including unfair dismissal, are ‘level 2’ claims, for which there will be an issue fee of £230 and a hearing fee of £950.  There will also be fees for appealing to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

The Government is due to publish a public consultation on fee remissions later this year.

Pensions Auto-Enrolment - Stage Date for Employers with less than 50 workers extended

From October 2012 UK employers are required to automatically enrol eligible jobholders into a qualifying pension scheme and pay contributions to that pension scheme.  The date set for each employer to begin complying with these obligation depends on the number of workers the employer employs.  Fortunately, the staging date for employers with fewer than 50 workers has been extended from August 2014 until June 2015 at the earliest. 

National Minimum Wage Increased

The adult national minimum wage, ie. for those aged 21 and over, has been increased from 1 October 2012 to £6.19 per hour.  The apprentice rate has also risen, whilst the rates for 16 to 17 year olds and for 18 to 20 year olds remain the same.