The end of this month sees further changes to employment law and the tribunal process, which will be relevant to all charities that have employees.

On 29 July 2013, a radical overhaul of employment tribunal rules will be implemented. As well as dealing with the introduction of fees, they have been designed to be simpler to use and include new measures to weed out weak claims and defences.

Fees will be introduced for all claims issued in the tribunal, and for certain types of applications made during the course of the legal proceedings. There will also be separate hearing fees. The fees will range between £160 and £950 depending on the type of claim. A claimant wishing to issue a discrimination claim and proceed to a hearing will incur fees of £1,100 in total. If they do not pay the fees they will not be able to proceed with their claim.

In relation to unfair dismissal claims, there will be a new earnings-related cap introduced to compensatory award. The current compensatory award for such claims is £74,200 but following a change in the law on 29 July 2013, the cap on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal claims will be the lower of £74,200 or one year’s gross pay. This significantly reduces the value of such claims for many individuals.

In addition, from 29 July 2013, compromise agreements will be known as settlement agreements. A new ACAS code on settlement agreements (formerly compromise agreements) will also come into force on 29 July 2013, as well as measures to increase the confidentiality of pre-termination discussions.