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Employment Law - What's Around the Corner?

Author: Joan Finch, J Finch & Associates Published: 20th March 2014 16:12

Employment Law article sign post image 

Employment law is constantly with this year being no exception; changes usually come into effect in the months of April and October.  Albeit we have already had an early implementation date of 31st January, which is the long awaited changes to TUPE.  In addition there is an expected change in February, so no doubt it will be another interesting year for employment law.  So at a glance please see below a summary of the main changes coming into force over the coming months

Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) - 31st January 2014

In May 2011, the government announcement, its intention to consider the reform of the TUPE Regulations 2006, as a result the government consulted on the existing TUPE regulations, with the main purpose being to consider the case for reform as businesses believed them to be “overly bureaucratic” and “gold plated”.   The following main changes came into effect as of the 31st January 2014:

  • To allow for terms agreed from collective agreements to be renegotiated after the first year anniversary of date of transfer, on the bases that any changes are not less favourable.
  • The scope of the economic, technical and organisational reasons will now include the location of the workforce.
  • To clarify that for a service provision change to take place the service provision must be fundamentally or essentially the same.
  • Allowing microbusinesses to inform and consult directly with employees.
  • The transferor’s obligation to provide employee liability is increased from 14 to 28 days.
National Minimum Wage Penalties – February 2014 (expected)

The penalty for employers who do not pay their workers as a minimum in accordance with the set national minimum wages rates will increase from £5,000 to £20,000. 

Early ACAS Conciliation 6th April 2014

Claimants who are looking to pursue an Employment Tribunal Claim, with their current or ex-employer will now have to lodge details with ACAS in the first instance.  

Statutory Rates Increase 6th April 2014

Each year statutory rates are reviewed and as detailed on the www.gov.uk website the following increases are proposed Statutory Sick Pay to increase from £86.70 to £87.55 per week, Statutory Maternity, Adoption, and Paternity rate to increase from £136.78 – £138.18 per week. 

Extending the right to request Flexible Working – delayed

The government had planned to implement the extension to flexible working to allow all employees to have the right to request flexible working arrangements, not just for employees with children within a certain age range and carers with caring responsibilities on the 6th April 2014.  This change is likely to be in October, which is currently detailed on the ACAS website www.acas.org.uk

National Minimum Wage October 2014

The national minimum wages rates are reviewed each year and during the recent economic difficulties the increases have been kept to a minimum.  For October 2014 the new rate has just been confirmed by the government and the upper age bracket will be increased by 19p to £6.50ph.

As a company you will want to ensure you have all the correct documentation in place to support your business at present and in the future, therefore if you have concerns or want to discuss your current and future contract of employment, employee handbook, HR policies and procedures, here at J Finch & Associates Ltd we can provide you with friendly practical advice and the tools to support your business.  You can contact us by phone on 0330 2230158, by email on enquiries@JFinch.co.uk or visit us at www.JFinch.co.uk

Article by Joan Finch of J Finch & Associates Ltd

Thanks to Joan our AboutMyArea/EN9 editorial contributor for this informative article. Check out Employment Law section in the Business Zone to read more of her articles.

Joan is an award winning, highly experienced, commercial, self-motivated HR professional who has operated within the sectors of Retail, Hospitality and Catering, specialising in Employees Relations. Joan is now the proud owner and creator of J Finch & Associates Ltd.  Joan's career spans over 10 years, and has broad experience within Human Resources, with initially being a HR generalist covering all aspect of HR from Recruitment, learning and development, training, Employee Relations, redundancy, restructures and TUPE. Since 2008 she has specialised in Employee Relations applying a commercial and practical approach to all ER related issues.

For more information on Human Resources, Employee Relationship and Employment Law issues you may like to take a look at J Finch & Associates website: http://www.jfinch.co.uk/

Joan has recently joined Twitter - you might like to follow her @JFinchAssociate   

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