Important changes to employment law from Monday 29 July 2013

A number of key changes in employment law will be coming into force on Monday 29 July 2013. We have set out a brief summary of the changes below:

Fees

The 29th July 2013 will mark the introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunal. Fees will be payable on issue of claims (up to £250) and also prior to the full merits hearing (up to £950). Certain other applications to the Tribunal and also applications to the Employment Appeal Tribunal will also attract fees.

Unfair Dismissal award

From Monday the unfair dismissal compensatory award limit will change and become the lower of the statutory cap (currently £74,200) or one year’s gross pay.

Employment Tribunal Rules

The new Employment Tribunal rules in force from Monday combine Pre Hearing Reviews and Case Management Discussions into one preliminary hearing at which both case management issues and substantive preliminary issues may be determined.

The rules also introduce an initial sift stage for Tribunals to consider whether claims should be struck out if they have no reasonable prospect of success or they do not fall within the Tribunal’s jurisdiction.

Settlement

“Compromise Agreements” are to be renamed “Settlement Agreements” from Monday and this will be amended in all relevant primary legislation.

There will also be a change to the admissibility of pre-termination negotiations. If an employer makes an offer of settlement before a dismissal, this will now be inadmissible in any subsequent unfair dismissal proceedings unless there has been any improper behaviour during the negotiations (examples of which are set out in the statutory ACAS code of practice).

For more information, please contact a member of Devonshires’ Employment team.

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