From 6 May, most individuals considering bringing a tribunal claim against his or her employer must first contact Acas, either by phone or by completing the online early conciliation form, to register for early conciliation. Acas will then (if the prospective claimant agrees) contact the prospective respondent to see if it is possible for the parties to reach agreement without a tribunal claim being brought.

It is also possible for an employer to contact Acas to request early conciliation.

1.4 million UK employees on zero hours contracts

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published research indicating that, from January to February 2014, around 1.4 million individuals were employed on zero hours contracts with no guaranteed minimum number of hours.  Previous ONS research for the period from October to December 2013 suggested that only 583,000 employees had such contracts.

The ONS says that it will carry out further analysis of the data obtained in this latest survey, and will canvas businesses again during the summer.

Zero hours contracts are likely to remain a political issue in the run up to the next General Election, with the Labour Party issuing plans which would give employees on zero-hours contracts the right to fixed hours if they have worked regular hours for more than six months with the same employer, and the automatic right to such a contract after a year.

Deadline for TUPE employee liability information now 28 days

Where a transfer of an undertaking takes place on or after 1 May 2014, the transferring employer (transferor) must now provide employee liability information to the transferee 28 days before the transfer (rather than 14 as previously).

The information required by TUPE includes the name and age of those to transfer, the terms of their employment which an employer is obliged to provide under s1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, information about any disciplinary or grievance procedures involving those employees in the previous two years and any tribunal or court claims brought by any of those employees in the last two years, or which the transferor reasonably believes the employee may bring, and details of any collective agreements which will have effect after the transfer.