Government Publishes Updated Employment Law Reform Timetable For 2013

The Government has just published a report detailing their progress so far in reforming many areas of employment.

A revised timetable for implementing many changes was included in the report. Several changes are expected during 2013 and 2014 and in the first of two articles, I will summarise the changes expected in April 2013 and in the summer.

Changes expected for April 2013

  • Improved National Minimum Wage regulations will be published.This is in response to business advising that there are too many regulations that are difficult to understand.
  • Collective Redundancy Rules will be changed.Employers sometimes find it difficult to make workers redundant due to disproportionate regulatory burden.The new rules will address these difficulties and ACAS will publish new guidance for employers

Changes expected in Summer 2013

  • 12 Months Pay Cap On Unfair Dismissal Compensation Awards.
  • Make settlement agreements easier to use.The aim is to try and reduce the number of Employment Tribunal claims along with the cost and potential distress that accompany them.
  • Inform parties better about possible Employment Tribunal outcomes.The government intend to do this for example, by providing details of average awards for each type of claim on ET1 (claim) and ET3 ( Response) forms.To promote alternatives to Employment Tribunals, Tribunal Fees are hoped to be introduced into both Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunals.
  • Streamlining and improvement of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA).The Government state that this will reduce burden on compliant labour providers and labour users.Focus will be put on “unscrupulous gangmasters” who abuse workers and those involved in criminal activity including trafficking, tax evasion, health and safety negligence.
  • Reform whistleblowing rules so they will only protect disclosures which are in the public interestIt is thought that the current whistleblowing rules are too wide as they encompass virtually any complaint or issue an employee could raise in their employment.
  • Revised Employment Tribunal rulesThese intend to take away unnecessary administrative bureaucracy, and formalise existing case management good practice.Fairness and consistency in approach should be promoted across the different Employment Tribunal offices.
  • The Home Office aims to introduce a portable Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This will replace the current CRB check systemSome employers need to carry out criminal record checks on eligible staff via the Disclosure and Barring Service (formally known as the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB))A new system for carrying out those checks aims to reduce delays in recruitment and lets employers check online whether a person’s DBS check is up-to-date. If it is, they will not need to apply for a new one.

Reference Source: Department For Business & Innovation & Skills – Employment Law 2013 | Progress on reform

Autumn 2013 and beyond

In my second article which I will publish next week, I will discuss the changes expected for Autumn 2013 and beyond.

Amy Hallam is BRM’s employment law specialist with many years of representing businesses of all sizes in employment law matters.

If you have any questions about any of the expected employment law reforms, please telephone me on 01246 564012 or email using our website contact form.

About the author

Amy Hallam is a director and Head of Employment Law at BRM.

For more advice on this topic or related matters:

01246 564012 amy.hallam@brmlaw.co.uk