The momentum of UK employment law reform continues. Two further Government consultations opened on 14 September 2012, which will consider the following:
Settlement agreements and unfair dismissal awards:
- The reduction of the cap on the compensatory award in unfair dismissal claims plus a second cap of up to 12 months' pay, if this is less than the compensatory award cap.
- A standard form settlement agreement.
- The content of a new Acas statutory code of practice on settlement agreements which will provide guidance to employers on how to hold discussions with employees about exit terms in a way which will minimise unfair dismissal claims.
Reform of the Employment Tribunal Rules:
- A 14-day deadline for payment following Employment Tribunal judgments, with interest accruing 14 days from the day after the judgment was sent to the parties.
- Treating lay representatives the same as legal representatives when awarding costs.
- Proposed ‘Presidential Guidance' to give parties a better idea of what to expect at an Employment Tribunal and what is expected of them.
Both consultations will close on 23 November 2012. We will report on these consultations as they develop, but in general terms they are good news for employers and should make employee management more straightforward.