The new tax year sees a number of changes in the area of employment law. These include:
From 6th April claimants should send their dispute details to ACAS first before going to a tribunal. From 6th May this step will be compulsory. ACAS will endeavour to conciliate a settlement, although both parties may opt not to participate in the process, in which case an Early Conciliation Certificate will be issued and the claim can proceed to tribunal.
Employing Illegal Immigrants
The maximum fine which can be issued to employers found employing individuals who do not have the right to work in the UK has been increased from €10,000 to €12,000.
Financial Penalties on Employers
Tribunals will now have new rights to issue penalties to employers in breach of employment rights maliciously or recklessly. Penalties will be in addition to any compensation due to the employee, they will be payable directly to the Secretary of State and may vary between £100 and £5000.
Removal of Statutory Discrimination Questionnaire
The questionnaire by which an individual can obtain information about potential discrimination from an alleged discriminator is removed.
Statutory Rates and Compensation Increase
From 6th April statutory sick pay (SSP) increased from £86.70 to £87.55. The Percentage Threshold Scheme which allows employers with relatively high levels of sickness absence to recover a percentage of statutory sick pay is also ending.
Statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory paternity pay (SPP), and statutory adoption pay (SAP) have all increased from £136.78 to £138.18 since 6th April.
For the purpose of calculating statutory redundancy and basic award for compensation, a “weeks” pay has been increase from £450 to £464. The maximum compensatory award from unfair dismissal rose from £74,200 to £76,574.