Increases to certain statutory payments and tribunal awards have taken effect (from 1 February 2012).

The maximum compensatory award is now £72,300 and the maximum amount of a week’s pay (used to calculate statutory redundancy pay) has increased to £430.  

Following the DWP’s consultation exercise, four sets of regulations have been published to implement further changes to the pensions auto-enrolment legislation. It is expected that these will come into effect from 1 July 2012.  

In line with its aim to get offenders back to work, the Government has proposed that from April 2013, convictions will become ‘spent’ sooner. This means that exoffenders will be able to state to prospective employers that they have a clean record more quickly. At present prison sentences of more than two and a half years are never spent, whereas it is proposed that sentences of four years or more will never be spent. These changes will not affect the requirement for offenders to declare prior convictions for jobs working with children and other vulnerable people.  

The Government has published its response to the consultation seeking views on proposals to reform the civil justice system in England and Wales. This covers four main areas for change: structural reform, improving debt recovery and enforcement, preventing costs escalation and greater use of mediation.