Employment Updates – December 2013

December 2013

Enforcement of Tribunal Awards

According to recent Government-commissioned research , over half of all individuals who receive financial awards following an employment tribunal hearing do not receive payment of their award in full. Furthermore, more than one-third of all claimants had not received any money at all. 37% of the reasons given for non-payment were that the employer no longer existed/had become insolvent or ceased trading. However, a very large 29% of the reasons given was that the employer simply refused to pay.

The Government is determined to clamp down on businesses that fail to pay out, with Jo Swinson, Employment Relations Minister, confirming “Rogue employers should not be allowed to simply get away with not paying.”

For now, there are a number of methods available to enforce employment tribunal awards. If you have an unpaid award and would like to discuss your options for enforcement, please contact our Employment Law Department on  01296 318503.

Changes to Employment Legislation 2013

There have been a number of important changes to employment law and procedure this year which, for anyone needing a reminder, include the following:

Date                      Relevant Change

8 March 2013    entitlement to unpaid parental leave increases from 13 weeks to 18 weeks per child
6 April 2013       period of collective consultation where an employer intends to make 100 or more people redundant reduced from 90 days to 45 days
25 June 2013    whistleblowing legislation amended introducing a public interest element, removing the requirement that the disclosure be made in good faith and protecting workers who have made a protected disclosure from detriment from a co-worker or agent
25 June 2013    2-year qualifying period for unfair dismissal removed where main reason for dismissal is the employee’s political opinions or affiliations
29 July 2013    introduction of fees in the employment tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal
29 July 2013    new employment tribunal and EAT procedural rules in place
29 July 2013    confidential pre-termination discussions inadmissible in ordinary unfair dismissal claims
29 July 2013    Compromise Agreements renamed Settlement Agreements
29 July 2013    new cap on unfair dismissal compensatory award of the lower of £74,200 or one year’s pay

1 September 2013    new employment status of employee shareholder introduced
1 October 2013    annual national minimum wage increase
1 October 2013    the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 making employers liable for third-party harassment of their staff are repealed
7 October 2013    new fee remission structure for civil courts, employment tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunal