1. National Insurance Contributions Bill
This bill will introduce an "employment allowance". Each year every charity and business will be eligible to receive an employment allowance of £2,000 to reduce their employer national insurance contributions bill. The allowance will take effect in April 2014 and will benefit 1.25 million businesses. The Government's aim is to reduce the costs of employment and support small businesses with the hope that they will take on extra workers.
In addition, the bill will strengthen legislation to prevent the use of offshore payroll companies and introduce a general anti-avoidance rule for national insurance contributions.
2. Deregulation Bill
In essence, this will tidy up the statute book by repealing legislation that is no longer of practical use. The aim is to facilitate growth by reducing the burden of excessive and unnecessary regulation on businesses, civil society, public bodies, the taxpayer and individuals.
In particular, the bill will remove the power for an employment tribunal to make wider recommendations in successful discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010. At present, in a successful discrimination claim, a tribunal can make an appropriate recommendation to benefit the whole workforce, rather than just a successful Claimant, for example recommending a review of a Respondent's equal opportunities policy or to implement particular training for managers.
Furthermore, the bill will contain provisions to increase the use of apprenticeships by encouraging employer participation in the design and assessment of apprenticeships. In addition, it will exempt the self employed from health and safety laws were their activities pose no potential risk or harm to others.
3. Immigration Bill
This bill will reform immigration law by strengthening enforcement powers and enabling tougher action, such as larger penalties, against business that use illegal labour.
More changes are therefore on the horizon for employment law. In addition to the above, there are still many more changes in the pipeline in the coming year, such as employment tribunal fees, early Acas conciliation, employee shareholder status and much more.