Here's a brief update on the forthcoming employment law changes.
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On 1 February 2012:
The maximum limit on a week’s pay will increase from £400 to £430, so, for example, any redundancies effective on or after 1 February 2012 will attract the higher rate and the maximum basic award will rise from £12,000 (30 weeks) to £12,900.
The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal taking effect on or after 1 February 2012 will increase from £68,400 to £72,300.
From early April 2012:
Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will increase from £128.73 to £135.45.
Statutory sick pay will increase from £81.60 to £85.85.
The weekly earnings threshold for each of these payments will increase from £102 to £107.
Some other changes planned for April 2012:
(NB. The necessary draft legislation has not yet been published, but these are some of the Government’s stated intentions.)
Unfair dismissal: the qualifying period for making a claim will increase from one to two years. Employment Judges will sit alone without lay members on unfair dismissal cases.
Witness expenses: Employment Tribunals are to be given powers to order parties to pay the costs of witnesses attending a hearing, including those of the witnesses called by the successful party. The present system of state-funded expenses will be withdrawn.
Deposit orders: These are set to increase from £500 to £1,000 and are made against a party (usually the claimant) when an Employment Judge believes that party has little reasonable prospect of success.
Costs awards: Although fairly rare in the Employment Tribunal, the maximum that can be awarded (without a detailed assessment by the County Court) will increase from £10,000 to £20,000.
Solicitor - Samuel Phillips Law Firm