The next 12 months look to be just as eventful as 2012 in the world of employment. The following provides a snapshot of the key changes.

Legislation

New compensation limits – 1 February 2013

  • Limit on a week’s pay for statutory redundancy pay, basic award and additional award will increase from £430 to £450.
  • Maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £72,300 to £74,200.
  • Minimum basic award for particular unfair dismissals, for example dismissals due to health and safety duties, trade union membership or activities, pension scheme trustee duties or acting as an employee representative increased from £5,300 to £5,500.

Revised Parental Leave Directive – implemented 8 March 2013

Parental leave will be increased from 13 to 18 weeks per child.

Collective redundancy consultation reduced – 6 April 2013

Collective redundancy consultation period (over 100 employees) will be reduced from 90 to 45 days.

Statutory payment rates will increase on 7 April 2013

From 7 April 2013 statutory maternity, paternity, additional paternity, adoption pay and maternity allowance will increase form £135.45 to £136.78. Statutory sick pay will increase from £85.85 to £86.70.

New Employment Tribunal Rules - April 2013

Various amendments to the Rules of Procedure will be introduced following Mr Justice Underhill’s Report.

The Growth and Infrastructure Bill 2012-13 to be introduced in April 2013

The bill is planned to come into effect introducing the new concept of employee shareholder (See our News Alert: Employee Shareholder Plans Given the Green Light).

Fees will be introduced into the employment tribunal system – Summer 2013

The government are proceeding with a two-stage fee structure, introducing both an issue fee and a hearing fee.

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill 2012-13

Various aspects of the Bill will be introduced over the course of the year. This will include mandatory Acas pre-claim conciliation, tribunals to levy financial penalties on employers found to have breached employment rights, renaming compromise agreements to ‘settlement agreements’ and provision for EAT judges to sit alone.

2014/15

The key changes which we know about for the following year are:

  • Right to request flexible working will be extended to all
  • Shared parental leave to be introduced

And finally...

Hard at work or hardly working?

The BBC have reported that an American employee has been outsourcing his work to China. The software developer, believed to be in his 40s, has been taking it easy at home while his Asian sub-contractor has been doing his work. The employee reportedly paid just one fifth of his salary to a company in China to carry out his work.

The software company is now carrying out a thorough investigation to ensure this kind of activity cannot happen again. The employee allegedly earned several hundred thousand dollars a year as it is believed he carried out this scam across many companies.

A lesson for employers here is to ensure that safety measures are put in place when employees are given a lot of freedom. Appropriate security measures, including user verification and passwords, should be used and regular monitoring carried out.