The 6 April 2013 is the first day of the new financial year and also the date the following changes in employment law come into effect.

Reduction in consultation period to 45 days when 100 or more redundancies

From the 6 April 2013 if an Employer makes a proposal to make redundant 100 or more employees the consultation period has been reduced from at least 90 days before the first dismissal to at least 45 days before the first dismissal.

It should still be remembered that the 45 days consultation period is a minimum and an employer should take longer if required. An employer who has deliberately waited for this change to come into effect before make a proposal for redundancy could possibly face future dispute as to when the need to consult actually started.

The protective award for failure to consult will remain at the current 90 days maximum.

Where an employer is proposing to dismiss between 20 and 99 employees the minimum consultation period remains at 30 days.

Employees on fixed term contracts “which have reached their agreed termination point” will now be expressly excluded from the requirement to consult. To qualify for the exemption the fixed-term contract must have a clear termination date. 

ACAS are to produce a new non statutory code of practice for redundancy which is expected to address the principles and behaviours behind good quality consultation and how to deal with the most difficult issues

Real Time Information for PAYE

From 6 April 2013 employers are required to report PAYE deductions to HMRC prior to or at the time of paying the employees. Currently this information is provided at the end of the year but these changes will mean that employers will no longer need to submit forms P14 and P35. Employers will need to ensure they are using suitable payroll software so the information can be sent to HMRC electronically.

HMRC already receives Real Time Information for 4 million PAYE employees and these trials have been largely positive.

Following consultation HMRC has agreed to postpone this requirement for employers with less than 50 employees until 5 October 2013. 

Statutory Pay Increases

The following statutory payment requirements will increase from 6 April 2013.

  1. Statutory sick pay increases from £85.85 to £86.70 per week
  2. Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increases from £135.45 to £136.78 per week