The Government has made a series of announcements about some of its remaining pending reforms:

  • Unfair dismissal award cap: there is confirmation that, subject to Parliamentary approval before the "end of term", the cap on compensation of the lower of £74,200 (the current limit) and one year's gross pay will take effect on 29 July (presumably for dismissals after that date).
  • Recruitment sector: changes to the rules protecting work-seekers and their freedom to move between jobs will go ahead. The prohibitions on charging fees and on penalties for terminating a contract will remain, as will the requirement that "temp-to-perm" transfer fees are reasonable. There may be a new requirement for employment businesses to agree terms relating to pay with work-seekers, including clarification on who is responsible for paying them. This is an increasingly significant issue now that the pensions auto-enrolment requirements apply; the responsibility for dealing with the enrolment of agency workers generally falls on whoever is responsible for paying them.
  • Whistleblowing: as promised, now that the Enterprise Act changes (new "public interest" test, abolition of the "good faith" requirement and introduction of employers' vicarious liability) are in place, there is a leisurely "Call for Evidence" (running until 1 November) on further changes. One likely outcome is that protection will be extended to job applicants (not currently covered by the "worker" definition). Other more speculative suggestions put up for discussion include mandatory referral of claims to regulatory bodies and possible financial incentives for whistleblowers.

The "elephant in the room" is the proposed changes to the business transfer rules. Draft proposals on new TUPE regulations had been expected this month, but have apparently been delayed until September. The Government were aiming for implementation of most of the changes in October; this seems increasingly unlikely.