A summary of the key changes to employment law which came into effect on 6 April 2014 is below:

  • Mandatory early conciliation - early conciliation (EC) will become mandatory for all tribunal claims presented on or after 6 May 2014. Acas has set out a four-step procedure which claims must follow. Click here for more details.
  • Abolition of discrimination questionnaires - statutory discrimination questionnaires have been abolished and tribunals can no longer draw adverse inferences from delays or failures to answer questions.
  • Abolition of Percentage Threshold Scheme - employers can no longer reclaim Statutory Sick Pay from HMRC where the 13% of NI contributions threshold has been met.
  • Increase to tribunal fees - certain claims, such as equal pay, will now attract the higher issue and hearing fees.
  • Financial penalties for losing employers - employers may now have to pay financial penalties if they lose at tribunal.
  • Abolition of SSP record-keeping obligations - employers no longer need to keep specified records of dates of sickness and Statutory Sick Pay payments.
  • Unfair dismissal compensation increase - the maximum compensatory amount for unfair dismissal has been increased to £76,574 (odd, we know).
  • Increased rates - several statutory rates have been increased, including the cap on ‘a week’s pay’ (now £464).
  • Increased penalty for illegal workers - employers now face a maximum penalty of £20,000 for employing illegal workers.
  • TUPE pension contributions - transferee employers now have the option to match the transferor’s level of employee pension contributions.
  • MPs now ‘prescribed persons’ - a whistleblower may now make protected disclosures to MPs in certain circumstances.