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14th December 2012

Employment Law Developments: What to Expect in 2013

Since the coalition government came to power in 2010 its main focus appears to have been reviewing existing employment law legislation rather than bringing new legislation into force with the aim of encouraging business growth.  Therefore, as we move towards the end of 2012, we thought it would be useful to take a look back at what changes have been made to employment law within the last 12 months and what we can expect in the year ahead.

In April 2012, some key changes were introduced, including increasing the qualifying period for unfair dismissal and changes to tribunal procedure. The government also stated its committed to looking at “making it easier for employers and employees to have frank discussions and resolve disputes”; extending flexible working to all and reviewing collective redundancy requirements and TUPE 2006.

Looking ahead to next year, it is anticipated that the following changes will take place:-

1 February 2013

Tribunal compensation limits will increase under the Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2012.

March 2013

Implementation of the Revised Parental Leave Directive.

April 2013

The Growth and Infrastructure Bill 2012-13 is planned to come into effect introducing the concept of employee shareholder status.

April 2013

The Children and Families Bill will be introduced setting out a new system of flexible parental leave and flexible working.

Summer 2013

Fees will be introduced into the employment tribunal.

Expected 2013

New Employment Tribunals Rules of Procedure will come into force.

Expected 2013

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill 2012-13 will come into force, introducing the following changes:

  • Mandatory pre-claim Acas conciliation.
  • Enhanced shareholder rights regarding directors’ remuneration.
  • Repeal of the third party harassment and the discrimination questionnaire provisions in the Equality Act 2010.
  • Changes to employment tribunal procedure and the orders a tribunal can make.
  • Pre-termination negotiations will be inadmissible in unfair dismissal proceedings.
  • Introducing a public interest requirement to whistleblowing disclosures.

Expected 2013

The government’s responses to the consultations proposing the reform of the collective redundancy procedures and TUPE 2006 are expected.

Expected 2013

The government’s response to the Ending the Employment Relationship consultation regarding the use of settlement agreements, including proposals for the use of a model agreement, standard letters and a new ACAS Code of practice on settlements.

Expected 2013

The government’s response to the annual leave aspects of the Modern Workplaces consultation is expected.

We hope to report on the above changes in future editions of Lighthouse ahead of their implementation next year.

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