15th January 2014

INFORMATION

UPDATE

 Issue No.  2014/02

 Sentient
              

 

INFORMATION UPDATE

A number of changes, in the field of employment law, are already on the agenda for 2014 and these are summarised below:

JANUARY 2014

Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment (Amendment)) Regulations 2013 - come into force on 31st January 2014.
In summary, these Regulations make changes to the obligations on information and consultation, changing terms and conditions post transfer and changes to the obligations - the transferee has to provide employee information to the transferor. 

Immigration (European Economic Area) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2013
The above Regulations come into force making changes relating to the procedural requirements for admission to the UK of non-European Economic Area (EEA) residents of some EEA states as well as making provision in relation to the transitional controls on workers who are nationals of Bulgaria and Romania, which came to an end on 31 December 2013.

APRIL 2014

New Statutory Rates
The following rates have not yet been confirmed but have been announced by the Department for Work and Pensions as proposals at this stage.

 

Current Rate

Proposed
New Rate

Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Additional Paternity, Adoption Pay and Maternity Allowance

£136.78

£138.18

Statutory Sick Pay

£86.70

£87.55

Earnings threshold for SSP, SMP, SPP and SAP

£109.00

£111.00

Changes to Unfair Dismissal Compensatory Awards
The date for the annual index-linked change to the compensatory award limits for Employment Tribunal claims will come into effect on 6th April 2014 (moved from the previous usual date of 1st February).  At the time of writing, no new rates have been announced or proposed.

Flexible Working
With effect from 6th April 2014, the right to request flexible working is to be opened up to any employee providing they have 26 weeks’ continuous service.  The right to request flexible working will no longer be limited to those employees with parental responsibility for their children under 16 (or 18 if disabled) or those with care responsibilities for a spouse, partner, civil partner or relative or someone who lives at the same address as the employee.  So any employee will be able to make a formal request for any reason and employers wishing to decline such a request will have to comply with the timescales and reasons given in legislation. 

Other Miscellaneous Changes

  • ACAS early conciliation to be introduced.
  • Repeal of Discrimination Questionnaires – to be replaced with informal approach set up in ACAS guidance.
  • Introduction of employment tribunal penalties of 50% of any financial award for employers who lose at Tribunal (minimum of £100 and maximum £5000).

SEPTEMBER 2014

Goods drivers - Certificate of Professional Competence renewal date for lorry drivers with "acquired rights" – 9th September 2014.

Lorry drivers with "acquired rights" are drivers who held a vocational driving licence when the driver Certificate of Professional Competence was introduced on 10th September 2009. They must renew their certificate by taking 35 hours of periodic training within five years of this date.

OCTOBER 2014

National Minimum Wage
1st October is when any changes to the NMW take effect.  At the time of writing, the NMW rates have not been announced.

Equal Pay
Employment Tribunals will have power to order equal pay audits where an employer is found guilty of gender pay discrimination.

ON A DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED

Flexible Parental Leave
Provisions to enable parents to choose how they will share the care of their child during the first year after the birth.   Mothers will still keep their entitlement to 52 weeks maternity leave and 39 weeks statutory maternity pay. The difference however is that after the first two compulsory weeks of maternity leave, mothers will be able to share the remaining 50 weeks’ maternity leave and 37 weeks’ statutory maternity pay with the father as flexible parental leave.

Antenatal Appointments
The husband, civil partner or partner of a pregnant woman will also have the right to unpaid time off to attend up to two antenatal appointments.  These provisions will also apply to adoptive parents and are due to be implemented in 2014 but may not come into effect until 2015.

Health & Safety Advisory Assessment Service
The establishment of a health and work assessment and advisory service to make occupational health advice more readily available to employers and employees, so they can better manage sickness absence.  This is expected to be up and running nationally from April 2015, although some parts of the country should be 'live' from Autumn 2014.

AND FINALLY…

Pension – auto enrolment
This is not new, but to remind those of you with a staging date that falls during 2014 - you will need to enrol all qualifying employees into a qualifying pension scheme or the NEST scheme. 

What other joys will 2014 bring?  Rest assured, we’ll let you know!


 

 

 

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The advice and comment in this update is not meant to be an authoritative statement of law. The articles and summaries should not be applied to any specific set of facts and circumstances without seeking further advice. Whilst every care is taken to ensure that the content is correct Sentient cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of statements made nor the result of any actions taken by individuals after reading such.

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