Employment Law Timetable

Employment Law Changes for 2013 onwards

 

Compensatory Awards increases
1 February 2013

  • Maximum Basic Award:    £13,500
  • Maximum Weekly Rate (statutory redundancy rate):    £450 per week
  • Maximum compensatory award for Unfair Dismissal:    £74,200
  • Guaranteed Pay (for lay off purposes):    £24.20 per day.

Parental leave increases from three to four months
8 March 2013
The minimum parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child increases from three to four months. At least one of the four months will not be transferable between parents. Member states have until 8 March 2013 to bring this into force.

Statutory sick pay increases
6 April 2013
The standard rate of statutory sick pay increases from £85.85 to £86.70 per week.

Pensions auto-enrolment earnings thresholds amended
6 April 2013
The earnings thresholds for pensions auto-enrolment change on 6 April 2013: the lower level of qualifying earnings increases to £5,668; the earnings trigger for auto-enrolment increases to £9,440; and the upper level of qualifying earnings decreases to £41,450. 

Collective redundancy consultation period reduces to 45 days
6 April 2013
Reduces from 90 days where 100 or more dismissals proposed at any one establishment.  Flexibility to avoid collective consultation with those on fixed term contracts due to end during the consultation period.

Real time information introduced
6 April 2013
Employers are required to report PAYE deductions to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) prior to, or at the time of, paying employees rather than at the end of the year, under the new real time information scheme. Until 5 October 2013, employers with fewer than 50 employees can send information to HMRC by the date of their regular payroll run, but no later than the end of the tax month. Employers with 5,000 or more employees will agree start dates with HMRC beginning June 2013.

Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay
7 April 2013
The standard rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increased to £136.78

Basic state pension increases
8 April 2013
The basic state pension increases from £107.45 to £110.15 per week.

Share buy-back scheme simplified
30 April 2013
The Companies Act 2006 amends the process that enables companies to buy back shares from employees leaving the company. Changes include allowing off-market share buybacks to be authorised by ordinary resolution and private limited companies to pay for their own shares in instalments.

Portable DBS checks introduced
17 June 2013
Once a Disclosure and Barring Service (previously Criminal Records Bureau) check has been conducted, the results will be available online to enable employers to confirm that no new information has been added since the check was originally made. This means that an employee will not have to obtain a new check each time he or she starts a new job.

Qualifying Period for unfair dismissal claims for political opinions removed
25 June 2013

Whistleblowing legislation amended
25 June 2013
A disclosure is not protected unless the employee reasonably believes that the disclosure is made in the public interest. A disclosure no longer needs to be made "in good faith" but where a disclosure is not made in good faith, the employment tribunal will be able to reduce compensation by up to 25%. Further, an employer is vicariously liable where a worker is subjected to a detriment by a colleague because he or she made a protected disclosure, unless the employer has taken all reasonable steps to prevent the detriment.

School leaving age is raised to 17
28 June 2013

Fees for tribunal claims introduced
29 July 2013
Claimants who issue a claim against their employer in the employment tribunal are required to pay a fee. There are two levels of claim, depending on the complexity of the case. The claimant pays an initial fee to issue a claim and a further fee if the claim proceeds to a hearing. The tribunal may order the fees to be repaid to the claimant if he or she is successful with his or her claim. Fees are also payable for appeals submitted to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Compensatory award limit for unfair dismissal amended
29 July 2013
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill gives the Secretary of State the power to amend the maximum amount of the unfair dismissal compensatory award. The Bill prescribes that the amount may be no less than the median annual earnings and no more than three times the median annual earnings, or no less than 52 times the claimant's weekly pay

Compromise agreements renamed settlement agreements
29 July 2013
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill renames compromise agreements "settlement agreements". A statutory code of practice sets out the broad principles for using settlement agreements, and model letters, a model settlement agreement and supporting guidance provide further guidance on settlement agreements.

Pre-termination negotiations inadmissible in unfair dismissal claims
29 July 2013
Conversations between an employer and an employee or an offer made prior to the termination of employment, with a view to terminating employment on agreed terms, may not be taken into account by an employment tribunal when determining an unfair dismissal claim.

Revised employment tribunal rules and EAT rules come into force
29 July 2013
The Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure are revised to simplify and streamline the process for dealing with employment tribunal claims. Changes to the rules include combining pre-hearing reviews and case management discussions into a preliminary hearing, new strike out powers and a standalone rule to encourage alternative dispute resolution.

Fee structure introduced.

Employee-owner contract introduced
1 September 2013
Growth and Infrastructure Bill introduces the "employee-owner" contract, a new type of employment contract. Employee-owners/employee-shareholders will be given between £2,000 and £50,000 of shares in the business, which will be exempt from capital gains tax, in exchange for foregoing certain employment rights. They will not have the "ordinary" unfair dismissal protection after two years' continuous service. They will be unable to make statutory requests to work flexibly or in relation to study or training, and will not be protected against dismissal for making either of these statutory requests, except in relation to a flexible working request on return from parental leave. Employee-owners will not be eligible for statutory redundancy pay, and will have to give 16 weeks' notice to return early from maternity or adoption leave, as compared with eight weeks for employees.

Shareholders given binding votes on pay policy
1 October 2013
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill repeals s.439(5) of the Companies Act 2006, to give shareholders the power to approve directors' pay on the approval of the directors' remuneration report. The Government has confirmed that it will add further clauses to the Bill, to give shareholders a binding vote on pay policy and exit payments and require better information on pay policy to boost transparency. The Bill can be viewed on the UK Parliament website and the press notice announcing the reforms on directors' pay can be viewed on the BIS website.

Third-party harassment provisions in Equality Act repealed
1 October 2013
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill repeals s.40(2) to (4) of the Equality Act 2010, which provides that the employer will, in certain circumstances, be liable where an individual is harassed by a third party.

Welfare Reform Act 2012 introduces universal credit
1 October 2013
The Welfare Reform Act 2012 replaces a number of benefits and tax credits that people receive when they are in and out of work with universal credit.

Changes to TUPE come into force
October 2013
Including revisions to service provision requirements

National Minimum Wage
1 October 2013
The following rates per hour will increase:

  • Adult rate 21+: £6.31
  • 18-20 year olds: £5.03
  • 16-17 year olds: £3.72
  • Apprentices: £2.68
  • Accommodation offset: £4.91

Reservists to be exempt from 2 year qualifying period
To be confirmed

Cast to be added to race definition under EA 2010
To be confirmed

Rapid resolution scheme introduced
To be confirmed

Presumption of self-employment for LLP removed
To be confirmed

Tribunal procedure in discrimination cases amended
To be confirmed
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill repeals s.138 of the Equality Act 2010, which sets out the procedure that enables an individual to obtain information from the employer about discrimination and provides for the information to be used as evidence in tribunal proceedings. It also introduces a provision that requires employment tribunals to order an equal pay audit where the employer has breached the equal pay provisions under the Equality Act 2010, except in prescribed circumstances.

Tax-free loans to employees extended
To be confirmed
Increase from £5,000 to £10,000 in the amount that employers can lend to their employees on a tax-free basis.

Presumption of self-employment for limited liability partnerships removed
To be confirmed
Removal of the presumption of self-employment for limited liability partnership (LLP) partners. This aims to address the act of disguising employment relationships through LLPs and the artificial allocation of profits to partners to achieve a tax advantage.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2013 comes into force
To be confirmed
The order changes the range of spent convictions and cautions covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (SI 1975/1023), so that some spent convictions and cautions do not have to be disclosed by candidates for a role and may not be taken into account by employers when making recruitment decisions.

Early conciliation comes into force
April 2014
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill requires potential claimants to lodge details of their proposed employment tribunal claim with Acas in the first instance. Acas will offer the parties the opportunity to engage in conciliation with a conciliation officer for a prescribed period

Employment allowance introduced
April 2014
All businesses, including charities, are entitled to receive an employment allowance of £2,000 per annum towards their employer national insurance contributions bill.

Flexible working for all employees
Spring 2014
The Children and Families Bill extends the right to request flexible working to all employees. Currently, the right applies to employees who have children under the age of 17 (18 if a child is disabled) or who are carers. The statutory flexible working procedure for considering requests is replaced with a duty on employers to deal with requests in a reasonable manner, and a statutory code of practice is introduced to give guidance as to the meaning of "reasonable".

Financial penalties imposed on employers that breach employment rights
Spring 2014
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill gives tribunals the power to levy a financial penalty against employers that are in breach of employment rights where the breach has one or more aggravating features. If the tribunal makes an award of compensation, the amount of the penalty will be 50% of the award. The penalty is subject to a minimum threshold of £100 and an upper ceiling of £5,000.

New approach to managing sickness absence introduced
Spring 2014
A new health and work assessment and advisory service is introduced in spring 2014, offering free occupational health assistance to employees, employers and GPs, including an independent assessment of employees who have been off sick for four weeks.

Tribunals to be able to order equal pay audits
October 2014

School leaving age is raised to 18
2015

Age limit for unpaid parental leave extended to 18 
2015

Fathers gain right to time off for antenatal appointments
2015

Surrogate parents eligible for adoption leave
2015

Shared parental leave introduced
2015

Tax-free childcare scheme comes into force
Autumn 2015
Families where both parents work and each parent earns less than £150,000 per year are eligible to receive 20% of their yearly childcare costs (up to £1,200 for each child). The scheme applies to parents with children aged under five, but will be extended to parents with children under 12.

Single-tier state pension introduced
2016
Introduction of a single-tier state pension, ending the ability to contract out of the state second pension.

Equalisation of state pension age for women
November 2018

State pension age rises to 66 years
October 2020

State pension age rises to 67 years
Between 2026 and 2028

State pension age rises to 68 years
Between 2044 and 2046