A number of changes to employment law will take effect from today (Monday 29 July 2013). These changes include:
1.The introduction of fees into the employment tribunals
Fees are now payable when a claim is presented and following notification that the claim has been listed for hearing. The amount of the issue and hearing fee will depend on whether the claim is type A (eg. unlawful deduction from wages, statutory redundancy
payments) or type B (eg. unfair dismissal, discrimination) and the number of claimants.
Depending on their financial circumstances, an individual may be able to claim a remission of all or part of any fee for which they are responsible.
A claimant who fails, when presenting their claim, to either pay a fee or apply for a remission will find their claim is rejected.
The new ET1 and ET3 forms must be used going forward.
2. New tribunal rules of procedure
On 29 July 2013, the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/1237) come into force. New Employment Tribunals Rules of Procedure (new ET rules) are at schedule 1 to the 2013 Regulations. These will replace the current
procedural rules (the current rules) in schedule 1 to the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/1861).
3. A new cap on the unfair dismissal compensatory award
The unfair dismissal compensatory award limit will become the lower of the statutory cap (currently £74,200) or one year’s gross pay.
4. The inadmissibility of pre-termination negotiations in unfair dismissal cases
If an employer makes an offer of a negotiated settlement before a dismissal, this will now be inadmissible in any subsequent unfair dismissal proceedings unless there has been improper behaviour. The statutory Acas Code of Practice on Settlement Agreements
will also operate from 29 July 2013 which provides guidance as to what constitutes "improper conduct".
5. "Compromise Agreements" being renamed "Settlement Agreements"
Agreements entered into on or after 29 July 2013 will need to be headed up as settlement agreements to ensure compliance with this area of the law.
We have provided above brief summaries of the changes that are now in place. Given the complexities of the new laws, we strongly advise that you take legal advice before taking any action.
If you are considering bringing an Employment Tribunal claim or you and/or your organisation is defending an Employment Tribunal claim then we can provide specialist help and advice, and guide you through the legal minefield of the new laws.
Furthermore, if you are considering having pre-termination negotiations and/or entering into settlement agreements with any of your employees, we can provide you with advice and guidance to ensure compliance with the new laws.
For more information about any of the above or for practical commercial advice on any aspect of employment law, please contact Nigel Crebbin of the Berg Employment Team
on 0161 833 9211 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow us at Twitter:
(The information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Berg or any of its partners or employees. Professional legal advice should
be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.)