Are you on board with employment law changes in 2014?

Each year particularly around April the Government brings in a few changes and 2014 is no exception.  Here is a summary of some of the changes that may be relevant to you.  Please email or call Hafton Consultancy if you’d like to know more

Recent Changes:-

  • Employers who do not pay the minimum wage can expect to be fined up to £20,000 (effective 7 March).
  • The period during which certain convictions need to be disclosed to potential employers was reduced (effective 10 March).  Further guidance is available.
  • ACAS is offering early conciliation from 6 April. Claimants must now send details of their dispute to ACAS who will attempt conciliation and settlement, before the claimant can initiate an employment tribunal claim.  Further guidance is available.
  • The maximum civil penalty for illegally employing an immigrant rose to £20,000 (effective 6 April).
  • The rates of statutory sick pay (SPP) increased from £86.70 to £87.55 from 6 April.
  • The basic rates of maternity allowance and statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory paternity pay (SPP) and statutory adoption pay (SAP) all increased from £136.78 to £138.18 –from 6 April.
  • Increased limits on employment tribunal awards – came into force on 6 April:
    • the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal rose from £74,200 to £76,574
    • the limit on a ‘weeks’ pay’ rose from £450 to £464.

Changes to come:-

  • From 30 June the right to request flexible working will be extended to all employees with 26 weeks’ service.  ACAS are producing a new Code of Practice and non-statutory guidance for employers.
  • National Minimum Wage rates– will increase from 1 October: the standard adult rate to £6.50, the development rate for those aged 18-20 to£5.13, the young workers rate for those aged 16-17 to £3.79, and the apprentice rate to £2.73.
  • Employment tribunals will be able to order an employer to carry out an equal pay audit in circumstances where it is clear they have breached the equal pay provisions in the Equality Act 2010 – in October.

Government Consultations

The consultation on zero hour contracts which focused on the particular issues of the use of exclusivity clauses and transparency, has now closed.  Guidance is expected soon.

The Government has published three draft Regulations for consultation on shared parental leave and pay and is intending that shared parental leave will come into effect for babies due on or after 5 April 2015 or children matched or placed for adoption on or after that date.

Caste discrimination – a consultation is expected in 2014 on introducing caste as an aspect of race under Equality Act 2010.

For more information: annastobart@haftonconsultancy.com