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Employment Law reforms coming into force today – 29 July 2013

Employment Law reforms coming into force today – 29 July 2013

For all of you who are tearing your hair out struggling to keep up to date with the many changes to employment law and HR practice at the moment, here is a quick reminder of the main employment law reforms coming into force today, Monday 29 July 2013:

  1. The introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal.  Fees will be charged at two stages: the issue of the claim and before the hearing.  Although watch this space, as their introduction is subject to legal challenge and this could ultimately result in repayment of any fees paid, if the challenges are successful.
  2. The introduction of new Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure which affect the way that tribunal claims are conducted.
  3. New tribunal forms which can be found at the links below.  Remember that claims and responses using the old forms will from today be rejected.

    Claim form:  http://bit.ly/1bUSpdw

    Response form:  http://bit.ly/15QfR5G
  4. A cap on compensation awards for unfair dismissal of the lesser of £74,200 or 52 weeks’ pay.  Remember that the awards for discrimination and whistleblowing remain uncapped.
  5. Compromise agreements to be renamed ‘Settlement agreements.’
  6. Introduction of new rules intended to make settlement offers or discussions about settlement and termination of employment inadmissible in unfair dismissal claims.  However, watch out because these new rules do not cover discrimination, breach of contract or automatic unfair dismissal and have other exclusions.  Employers may therefore wish to continue with a cautious approach to these discussions assuming anything they say could be unprotected and may have to be justified in tribunal if negotiations break down.

For more detail on any of these changes and how they affect you in practice, please contact your usual Burness Paull contact or Sean Saluja, Head of the Employment, Pensions and Benefits team.

Burness admin