Below are just a few of the changes which are expected to be introduced in 2013 and what these changes might mean for employers.
The minimum period for collective consultation that must take place where more than 100 employees are at risk of redundancy will reduce from 90 days to 45 days in April 2013.
New Statutory Payment Rates
The Department of Work and Pensions has announced that the rates of statutory pay will increase in April 2013, as follows:
Standard rates for statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay to increase from £135.45 to £136.78 with the weekly earnings threshold also rising from £107 to £109;
Statutory sick pay (SSP) will increase from £85.85 to £86.70, again with the weekly earnings threshold also rising from £107 to £109; and
Maternity allowance will increase from £135.45 to £136.78. The earnings threshold will remain at £30.
The new rate of SSP will be effective as of 6 April 2013 and the other new rates will be effective from 7 April 2013.
From 1 February 2013 the maximum compensation for unfair dismissal will rise from £72,300 to £74,200. A ‘week’s pay’ (for basic tribunal awards or statutory redundancy calculations) will go up from £430 to £450.
It is understood that from July 2013 the Government will introduce a two-stage fee structure for employment tribunal claims. The policy intention is to require users of the tribunal system to bear more of the cost burden. It is believed that straightforward claims will cost £160 to submit a claim to a tribunal, and £230 in they go to a hearing. More complex cases will cost £250 at the outset, and £950 for the hearing. Cases heard through judicial mediation will cost £600.
Unfair dismissal compensation could change significantly under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which is expected to become law in May 2013. This will give the Government the power to limit unfair dismissal compensation to one year’s earnings, or three times median earnings (currently £26,000) as well as bringing in a mandatory period of ACAS conciliation before a claim is made. The legislation will also give tribunals the scope to impose a financial penalty on employers (50 per cent of the award up to a maximum of £5,000)
Compromise Agreements are to be renamed ‘settlement agreements’ and there will be a new ACAS code of practice on handling them. Still puzzled? Click here for more information on ‘What’s on the 2013 Employment Law Horizon‘
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