Changes in Employment Law
Statutory sick pay – is no longer reclaimable from the government
As from 6th April 2014 it is no longer possible to for you as an employer to reclaim statutory sick pay from the government. The money saved by the new scheme, which is an estimated £50 million a year, is said to be going towards a new health and work service which is due to start in 2015.
Statutory payment increases from 6th April 2014
• Statutory maternity/paternity/adoption rate will increase to £138.18
• Redundancy pay weekly rate will increase to £464
Increase to income tax personal allowance to £10,000
Flexible Working Rules
All employees can now make a flexible working request so long as they have 26 weeks continuous employment. There is no longer the requirement to making the request to care for a dependent child or vulnerable adult. As an employer there is an obligation for you to handle this ‘reasonably’ and within a three month deadline.
ACAS early conciliation
From 6th April 2014, all claimant’s wanting to lodge a claim in the Tribunal, will need to notify ACAS first. The deadline for bringing the claim then is stopped for a period of one month with the opportunity for a 14 day extension if all parties agree, or until the conciliation is over.
As an employer then, the first you may hear about a claim won’t be receiving a claim form from the Tribunal, but a call from ACAS. You will have the opportunity to conciliate with the claimant via ACAS if you wish. Please note that you are not under any obligation to conciliate with the claimant. If you say no, then ACAS issue a certificate and the clock starts running again for the claimant to bring a claim.
Financial penalties for employers
The Employment Tribunal will now have the power to order an employer to pay a penalty fine of anywhere between £100 – £5,000. The Tribunal can make this order if the claimant is successful in a claim and the employer has been ordered to pay a financial compensation. The fine is paid to the Secretary of State, not the claimant.
The payment is made at the discretion of the Tribunal, who will take into account any aggravating features and whether or not an employer has breached an employee’s rights.
If you have any queries about the above then please contact Jenny Nuttall or Kate Jones on 01229 585555.