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Top 3 employment law changes employers need to know

Definition of LegalApril 2012 sees amendments to tribunal procedures, unfair dismissal pay, statutory maternity pay and sick pay; here is our summary of these changes so that you can remain compliant. 

1. Accident Reporting… Requirements change

The 6th April 2012 saw health and safety reporting changes come into force.

 

RIDDOR was amended with an increase in the period of incapacity “trigger” (triggering the employer’s requirement to report the accident to the enforcing authority) following an injury caused by an accident at work, from more than three days to more than seven days. The deadline by which the employer must report the accident also increases from 10 days to 15 days.

 

Click to read more on the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (Amendment) Regulations (RIDDOR) 2012 (SI 2012/199), on the UK legislation website.

2. Employment Tribunal… Procedure reformed

From 6th April 2012, there is an increase in the maximum amount of deposit orders (required to be paid by a party to continue with the tribunal) and costs orders (awarded by a tribunal in favour of a legally represented party) to £1,000 and £20,000 respectively.

 

The aim of this reform is to closer reflect the costs associated with defending an employment tribunal claim by an employer. There are further changes aimed at “speeding up” the process and further reducing costs to the taxpayer, to read these changes in more detail see: April 6: Changes to tribunal procedure coming into force via the XpertHR website.

 

3. Qualifying Period for unfair dismissal… Increases from one to two years

Also, from 6th April 2012, the qualification period for the right to claim unfair dismissal will be increased from one to two years’ continuous service; though this will apply only to those who are employed in a new job on or after this date.

 

Further changes include the increase in qualification period for the right to request a written statement of the reasons for dismissal; with the exception of employees who are pregnant, on maternity leave or adoption leave.

 

The Unfair Dismissal and Statement of Reasons for Dismissal (Variation of Qualifying Period) Order 2012 (SI 2012/989), can be read in more detail on the UK legislation website.

DON’T FORGET: Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and sick pay increase

From the 1st April 2012, the weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increased from £128.73 to £135.45.

 

The weekly rate of statutory sick pay also increased, from £81.60 to £85.85, on 6th April 2012.

 

Further increased on the 6th April 2012, were the lower earnings limit for primary Class 1 national insurance contributions from £102 to £107, the income tax personal allowance increased to £8,105, and the threshold at which employees pay the higher income tax rate of 40% was reduced to £34,371.

 

As an employer, it is essential you remain compliant, why not sign up to our Employer EShot to recieve all our tips for FREE?

 

White Horse Employment – Issue 63 April 2012

 

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