Employment Law – Changes for 2014
There are a number of changes in Employment Law planned for 2014, make sure that you are one step ahead.
1) Changes to TUPE – From 31 January 2014, the main changes to the regulations will be:
– employee liability information should be provided 28 days before the transfer, rather than 14 days as previously.
– there will be scope to negotiate changes to terms and conditions that derive from a collective agreement after 12 months from the transfer date.
– change in the location of the place of work will be explicitly included within the economic, technical or organisational (ETO) reasons and so would not necessarily lead to automatic unfair dismissal.
2) Pension Auto-Enrolment Extended – From 1 April 2014, the time period available to employers for auto-enrolling eligible job holders into a qualifying pension scheme increases from one month to 6 weeks.
3) Early Conciliation Introduced – From 6 April 2014, claimants will be able to lodge details of their proposed employment tribunal claim with ACAS in the first instance, whereby ACAS will offer the parties the opportunity to engage in conciliation with a conciliation officer.
4) Discrimination Questionnaire Procedure Withdrawn – On 6 April 2014, the statutory procedure that enables an individual to obtain information from his or her employer about discrimination and provides for the information to be used as evidence in tribunal proceedings will be removed.
5) Breach of Employment Rights Results in Financial Penalties for Employers – From April 2014, tribunals will have the power to impose a financial penalty against employers that are in breach of employment rights where the breach has one or more aggravating features.
6) Right to Request Flexible Working Extended to all Employees – With effect from 6 April 2014, the right to flexible working, which currently applies to employees who have children under the age of 17 (18 if a child is disabled) or who are carers, will be extended to all employees. The statutory process for considering requests is replaced with a duty to deal with the request in a reasonable manner.
7) Increase to Statutory Rates – With effect from 6 April 2014, the rate of statutory maternity pay, ordinary and additional statutory paternity pay, statutory adoption pay and statutory sick pay will increase.
8) Tribunals Given Power to Order Equal Pay Audits – An indicative implementation date of October 2014, prescribes that employment tribunals are required to order an equal pay audit where the employer has breached the equal pay provisions under the Equality Act 2010, except in prescribed circumstances.
9) National Minimum Wage -The national minimum wage may rise on 1 October 2014, subject to the prevailing economic conditions and the Low Pay Commission’s report which is due to be delivered to the Government in spring 2014.
10) Managing Sickness Absence – New Approach Introduced – The Health and Work Service is to be introduced, offering free occupational health assistance to employees, employers and GPs, including an independent assessment of employees who have been off sick for 4 weeks. The Government has indicated that the new service may be delivered in spring 2014, but this has not been confirmed.
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