Changes to UK Employment Law for 2014

Changes to UK Employment Law for 2014

Have you gotten your head round the business of the Changes to UK Employment Law in 2013 yet?

If not, do not worry as this is our update for what is coming on the slate for 2014.

Changes to TUPE come into force

Important changes are being made to TUPE, including a new provision enabling a transferee to consult pre-transfer with representatives of transferring employees for the purposes of complying with the collective redundancy rules. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has confirmed that it plans to bring the regulations into force on 31 January 2014.

Window for pension automatic enrolment extended

The time period available to employers for auto-enrolling eligible jobholders into a qualifying pension scheme increases from one month to six weeks on 1 April 2014. There is still time for this to come to pass for our clients and the type of companies we support in terms of size.

Early conciliation introduced

This is very new and no one quite knows how this is going to work in practice yet. However, it is designed to try to reduce the overall number of Employment Tribunal Claims.

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 introduces a requirement for potential claimants to lodge details of their proposed employment tribunal claim with Acas in the first instance from 6 April 2014, whereupon Acas will offer the parties the opportunity to engage in conciliation with a conciliation officer.

Discrimination questionnaire procedure repealed

On 6 April 2014, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 repeals the statutory procedure that enables an individual to obtain information from his or her employer about discrimination and provides for the information to be used as evidence in tribunal proceedings.

Financial penalties imposed on employers that breach employment rights

From April 2014, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 gives tribunals the power to impose a financial penalty against employers that are in breach of employment rights where the breach has one or more aggravating features. This is designed to help Claimants and punish particularly bad employers who flout employment law and employees rights. This is on top of any potential Employment Tribunal award to the Claimant.

Right to request flexible working extended to all employees

The Children and Families Bill extends the right to request flexible working, which currently applies to employees who have children under the age of 17 (18 if a child is disabled) or who are carers, to all employees. The statutory process for considering requests is replaced with a duty to deal with the request in a reasonable manner. The Government has confirmed an implementation date of 6 April 2014.

Statutory rates increase

The yearly rises will be applied from April 2014. The rate of statutory maternity pay, ordinary and additional statutory paternity pay and statutory adoption pay, and the standard rate of statutory sick pay.

Tribunals given power to order equal pay audits

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 prescribes that employment tribunals are required to order an equal pay audit where the employer has breached the equal pay provisions under the Equality Act 2010, except in prescribed circumstances. The Government has indicated an implementation date of October 2014.

National minimum wage may rise

The national minimum wage may rise on 1 October 2014, subject to the prevailing economic conditions and the Low Pay Commission’s report, due to be delivered to the Government in spring 2014. More on this as we get it.

Now pay attention as we may give a quiz, after all it is that time of the year.

Thats it for now, any questions, please call us on 0131 331 2735 or look us up on www.absolutelyhr.co.uk

Lastly, this is the start of a supposed new approach to managing sickness absence introduced and as such the Government introduced The Health and Work Service. This is designed to be offering free occupational health assistance to employees, employers and GPs, including an independent assessment of employees who have been off sick for four weeks. The Government has indicated that the new service may be delivered in spring 2014, but this has not been confirmed.

So there you have it. As they say in the pictures, thats a wrap.