- ACAS early claim conciliation starts on an optional basis. It will be compulsory from 6 May 2014. Keep an eye out for Will Hampshire's Blog on this next week;
- Statutory discrimination questionnaires will be abolished;
- A re-classification of the type of claims, including equal pay and failure to inform and consult under TUPE, that require payment of the higher fee (£250 issue and £950 hearing) to bring an Employment Tribunal claim;
- Employers who lose at Tribunals may face financial penalties of up to £5,000 – payable to the State not to the Claimant;
- New compensation awards limits take effect. A week's pay rises from £450 to £464 and the maximum unfair dismissal cap will rise from £74,200 to £76,574 (try remembering those!);
- Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increases to £138.18 per week;
- The requirement to keep records of employees' sickness is abolished. However, so too is the Percentage Threshold Scheme, which enables employers to reclaim statutory sick pay payments from their national insurance contributions – so this is less "deregulation" more "indirect taxation".
- Statutory sick pay will increase to £87.55 per week;
- Transferee employers have the option of matching the transferor employer's level of employee pension contributions as an alternative to the requirement to match the employee's contributions up to 6%.
As always if you need any advice or wish to discuss any of these changes please feel free to contact me or one of the team.