Complying with Changes to UK Employment Law
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Complying with Changes to UK Employment Law

From 29 July 2013 the UK government introduced changes to employment law, and businesses operating in the UK that have employees will have to ensure they fully comply with the new legislation. Therefore, follow this advice to help achieve compliance with UK employment law.

(Please note we accept no responsibility for the information provided and we believe this information to be correct as of January 1st 2016, any actions taken based on this advice, you do at your own risk and no liability can be transferred to ERP:FM or its affiliates)

Employment rights

Step 1

Alter any standard form compromise agreement your business already had. After 29 July compromise agreements had to be renamed settlement agreements, which meant references to earlier agreements had to be changed.

There were actually delays in the new law whilst the exact wording was agreed upon. Companies could avoid any complications by referring to previous agreements with this wording "the conditions regulating settlement agreements and compromise agreements, as applicable are satisfied."

Step 2

Try to understand the pre-termination negotiation rules as best you can and be cautious as you move through the new process. Any mention of pre-termination negotiation would not be accepted unless there was proof of improper conduct by the employer. The new laws are in use with Employment Tribunals, and some of the changes need to be noted.

- The new rules are for normal unfair dismissal cases.

- Should at any point an employer says or do anything during an Employment Tribunal that its members consider improper then any pre-termination negotiation can be mentioned. Generally, that would bode well for any former employee.

- Improper conduct can be things like bullying, harassment, as well as intimidation. Furthermore, putting pressure on employees may also be considered improper conduct. When some Employment Tribunals have found out that there were pre-termination negotiations these were regarded as putting pressure on former employees. If that happens then employers are more likely to lose the case.

Employment information in the UK

- Employees can still argue that pre-termination negotiations can be classed as a repudiation of their employment, and subsequently claim unfair dismissal.

Step 3

There are changes to the maximum levels of compensation.

Cases when the employee began working for a company prior to 6 April 2012 would be entitled to no more than 74,200 GBP if they win. However, when the Employment Tribunal rules in favour of an employee that started employment on, or after 29 July 2013 they would be entitled to either 74,200 GBP or a year's gross pay, whichever is the lower amount. That means losing such a case could prove more expensive than it used to be.

Step 4

Employers now have to pay Employment Tribunal fees

- 100 GBP for reconsidering a default judgement.
- 100 GBP or 350 GBP for the reconsidering of level 1 and level 2 claims respectively.
- 160 GBP to make a counter claim.

Step 5

Use the correct Employment Tribunal Forms

Employees now have to use the new ET1 forms, and employers have to use the new ET3 forms. It is important to complete the ET3 promptly and properly as it allows employers to respond to what former employees claimed they did.

So there was a quick guide to making sure the 2013 changes to UK employment laws do not catch employers out, meaning that they are more likely to win tribunal cases instead of losing them.
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