Upcoming changes to employment law

By Ben Gorner

In recent weeks, the government has announced a number of key changes to employment law that will be coming into force in the next few months.

Rates and limits
Changes to tribunal compensation limits, which historically took effect in February, have been moved to April. On 6 April 2014, the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will rise from £74,200 to £76,574. The maximum amount of a week’s pay, used to calculate redundancy payments or various awards including the basic or additional award of compensation for unfair dismissal, also rises from £450 to £464. The new rates will apply to any dismissals where the effective date of termination is on or after 6 April 2014. Different rates apply in Northern Ireland. Other changes to statutory rates and limits will also come into force on 6 April, including changes to statutory maternity pay and statutory sick pay.

Early conciliation in tribunal proceedings
On 18 February, the government confirmed that the new ACAS early conciliation (EC) scheme will be available to claimants from 6 April 2014 and mandatory for tribunal claims presented on or after 6 May 2014. EC comprises a four-step procedure under which a prospective claimant is required to contact ACAS before issuing relevant proceedings (which includes the majority of claims)…

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