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Friday, 3 February 2012

Major Changes to Employment Law in 2012

Last year businesses saw a number of significant changes in employment legislation and 2012 promises to be just as eventful.

Aarti Bedi, Employment Solicitor at colemans-ctts, examines the main changes businesses should be aware of and highlights the key reforms in employment law in 2012, including changes to the tribunal system, compensation limits and other proposed reforms.

Tribunals

From April 2012 the Government will introduce the following changes to the Tribunal System:
• The qualifying period for an employee to bring an unfair dismissal claim will increase from one to two years.
• The maximum amount of deposit a Tribunal can order a party to pay, as a condition of continuing with their proceedings, will increase from £500 to £1,000.
• The Tribunal will be able to direct parties to bear the costs of witnesses attending a hearing.
• Witness statements will be taken as read at the Employment Tribunal unless directed otherwise.
• Employment Judges will hear unfair dismissal cases alone, unless directed otherwise.


Compensation limits

• From 1st February 2012, the maximum weekly pay for calculating statutory redundancy payment & basic awards will increase from £400 to £430. The maximum unfair dismissal compensatory award will increase to £72,300.
• From 1st April 2012, the standard rate for statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will increase to £135.45 per week.
• From 6th April 2012, the standard rate for statutory sick pay will increase to £85.65 per week.


Other changes to look out for in 2012
Note. Many of these are still at the consultation stage.

• Introduction of employment tribunal fees.
• Introduction of financial Penalties against Employers, in the event of losing a claim.
• Reforms to allow “protected conversations” in the workplace.
• Increased Parental Leave.
• Reforms to Increase the use of mediation to resolve workplace disputes.
• Introduction of a simplified Compromise Agreement.
• Pension changes

If you are worried about the changes in the law in 2012 or any other employment matter, call Aarti on 0161 876 2502. Email aarti.bedi@colemans-ctts.co.uk or visit www.colemans-ctts.co.uk


Follow Aarti for the latest employment updates on Twitter @Aartibedi


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