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Employment law changes - April 2014

8 April 2014

On 6 April 2014, there were several Employment law changes. We have outlined some changes below and included links to more detailed articles.

Early Conciliation

The Acas Early Conciliation service is now available for employees and employers to attempt to resolve their dispute before the employee lodges an Employment Tribunal claim.

The duty to notify Acas of a dispute, before submitting an Employment Tribunal claim, will be mandatory for most employees from 6 May 2014.

Read more about Early Conciliation in Employment Tribunals.

Financial penalties for employers in the Employment Tribunal

Employment Tribunals now have the power to impose financial penalties on employers of between £100 and £5,000, where employers are found to have breached an employee's employment rights.

The penalties may be imposed if there are "aggravating features". The Tribunal has discretion to determine what constitutes aggravating features, but they may include the size of the employer, the duration of the breach of the employment right or the behaviour of the employer and of the employee.

The penalties are payable to the Secretary of State with a prompt payment discount of 50%.

Read more about financial penalties for employers in the Employment Tribunal.

Statutory discrimination questionnaires abolished

Statutory discrimination questionnaires have been abolished, but employees may still ask questions of their employer. If the employer fails to respond or is evasive, the Employment Tribunal may draw adverse inferences.

Read more about the abolition of statutory discrimination questionnaires.

Unfair dismissal awards

The figure for a maximum week's pay, for example used to calculate statutory redundancy pay, has increased to £464.

The maximum compensatory award for an unfair dismissal claim has increased to £76,574 (but remains capped at one year's salary).

Statutory sick pay and maternity, paternity and adoption pay

Statutory Sick Pay has increased to £87.55 per week.

Statutory maternity pay, paternity pay and adoption pay are now £138.18 a week (or 90% of normal weekly earnings if lower).

Employment Tribunal fees

The Government has re-categorised certain claims as Type B instead of Type A, including equal pay claims. This means that they attract higher issue and hearing fees.

This article was written by Clare Davis.

For more information, please contact Clare on +44 (0)20 7427 6552 or clare.davis@crsblaw.com