The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (the "Act") introduces various reforms to employment law, some of which come into force today.
The following changes will be implemented today:
- EAT Judges
All EAT cases will be heard by a judge sitting alone, under section 12 of the Act, unless otherwise directed.
- Dismissals for political opinion or affiliation
Under section 13 of the Act, the unfair dismissal qualifying period will not apply to employees who have been dismissed because of their political views or affiliations.This section will not apply where the effective date of termination is before today's date.
Section 17 of the Act introduces a requirement for a disclosure to be made ‘in the public interest’. Section 18 of the Act removes the requirement for the disclosure to be made in 'good faith'. The tribunal may reduce any award it makes to the worker by up to 25% if it finds that the disclosure was not made in good faith. Unless the employer can show that it took all reasonable steps to prevent the detrimental treatment, under section 19, employers will be vicariously liable where their employees victimise a whistle-blower.This section also introduces personal liability for co-workers who victimise whistleblowers.
- Deposit orders and costs
Under section 21, a tribunal will be permitted to make a deposit order against a specific part of a claim or response. A tribunal will also be able to make a preparation time order and a witness expenses order to a litigant in person.
Further reforms under the Act will be introduced later this year and next. You can access the BIS commencement timetable here.