Happy New Year!
Here at Globis we wish all our clients and associates a prosperous new year. 2014 has barely begun and we are looking at a plethora of changes to Employment Law that will affect companies in all sectors across the UK. For starters, the impact of the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees is beginning to be seen. In December, the Ministry of Justice published its July – September 2013 statistics. The number of claims received was 17% down on the same quarter in 2012. Unfair dismissal claims were down a massive 40%. But some types of claims have increased. Overall, however, the immediate impact appears to have been that the total number of claims is down – just what the government was looking for.
Still not clear on the fees? You can visit gov.uk to download the factsheets.
Some other significant changes to employment law that are coming into effect shortly:
Changes to Transfer of undertaking protection of employment (TUPE)
At the end of the this, some significant changes to the current TUPE process will come into force. These include:
- Rules relating to service provision are unchanged, but there will be clarification that for TUPE to apply, the activities carried on after the change must be “fundamentally or essentially the same” as those before;
- Required information will need need to be given 28 days rather than 14 days before the transfer; the obligation to provide employee liability is unchanged;
- “Change of work place location” will become an Economic, Technical or Organisational (ETO) reason;
- Provisions restricting changes to terms and giving protection against dismissal will no longer apply for changes made for “transfer-related reasons”;
- Very small businesses will be allowed to consult with employees directly where there is no recognised Trade Union or representatives
Introduction of mandatory Acas conciliation pre-claim
Following on from the changes to Employment Tribunal proceedings in July last year, on 6 April, mandatory pre-claim Acas conciliation will be enforced. Potential claimants in Tribunal proceedings will be required to lodge details of their proposed claim with Acas before bringing an actual claim. Acas will then contact the parties, offering the opportunity to engage in early conciliation. If the parties refuse, or early conciliation is unsuccessful the claimant gets a certificate enabling them to proceed to tribunal. This is a further attempt by the government to reduce the number of claims coming before Employment Tribunal.
Before considering an Employment Tribunal claim and going through this abstract process, there are alternative dispute resolutions that should be considered. Mediation is one of these that keeps the parties in control and facilitates a resolution that is amenable to both sides. Globis is one such provider of mediation services and training, use our contact pages to find out more.