CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Summer of Change for Employment Law

PUBLISHED: 16:13 12 June 2013 | UPDATED: 16:13 12 June 2013

Gareth Davies from Davies and Partners

Gareth Davies from Davies and Partners

Archant

Gareth Davies from Davies and Partners explains about the Summer of Change for Employment Law

This summer brings a whole series of changes in employment law, in particular unfair dismissal. The changes have been brought in to reduce the number of claims that are being lodged in an Employment Tribunal and to encourage companies, in particular small businesses, to recruit and grow their businesses and reduce the risk of employee litigation.

Many employers have highlighted difficulties they’ve had in managing employees whose performance is falling below expected standards. Their fear of litigation appears to be restraining them from having discussions with employees, who may no longer share the same business values.

Following the changes in the summer, it will possible for an employer to have a discussion with an employee about their leaving the organisation and their terms of exiting. Such discussions under the existing law could be very problematic. The new changes state that such discussions cannot be used as evidence in an Employment Tribunal. Assuming such discussions lead to a satisfactory outcome, then an employer can wrap up the arrangement in what is called a Settlement Agreement which will set out the terms of payment to the employee when they are released from their employment, and the employer should have no fear of further litigation following this.

In addition, the Government has brought in a series of procedural changes that are designed to reduce the number of claims and burden on business. They have simplified the rules of procedure in an Employment Tribunal which has made it easier for employment judges to weed out weaker claims.

In addition, the Government has recently increased the qualifying period from 1 to 2 years service before an employee can be eligible to bring a claim for constructive dismissal. It is estimated that this will reduce the number of tribunal claims by around 20%. Furthermore, a claimant will have to notify ACAS of their intention to bring a claim, which will create an opportunity for conciliation and the possibility for a settlement. If the conciliation does not produce a satisfactory outcome, then the claimant will have to pay a fee to lodge a claim for unfair dismissal which is set at £230. If the matter is not resolved within a few weeks before the hearing date, the claimant will have to pay a listing fee of £930.

In the event that a claimant is successful, the Government has revised the amount of compensation that can be awarded by an Employment Tribunal in unfair dismissal cases the current cap of £74,000 will remain in place but there will be a lower cap of 52 weeks wages for those who earn less than £74,000 per year. In respect of discrimination claims there is no cap on an award of compensation that a Tribunal can award.

In a further measure, the Government has also tried to develop employee shareholding as a means of providing growth and enterprise for business through the introduction of changes to company law and employment law whereby employees can be given shares in the company from between £2,000 and £50,000, which will be exempt from Capital Gains Tax. The sting in the tale is that the employee will lose the right to be able to bring unfair dismissal claims and claim redundancy payments. They will also lose the right to apply for flexible working and the right to time off for training.

At the consultation stage of this particular piece of legislation, employer groups were less than enthusiastic about this change as many felt that this was going to complicate their employment law and company processes rather than simplify them. It remains to be seen what the take-up rate will be.

0 comments

More from Out & about

Mon, 13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Mon, 12:23

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search