Changes to Employment Law and How They Affect You

Employment law is changing in April 2012.

We set out below (in less than 300 words) a summary of the changes and what you need to do about them.

Unfair dismissal

The length of time that an employee needs to have been employed in order to claim unfair dismissal will increase from one to two years. This will only affect employees whose employment starts on or after 6 April 2012.

Action: See this blog. It explains everything!

Deposit orders in Employment Tribunal Claims

Where a claim is unlikely to succeed, a Tribunal can order the claimant to pay a deposit, which they will only get back if they win. This has the effect of deterring people with weak claims.

The maximum deposit a tribunal can order a party to pay will increase from £500 to £1,000.

Action: It doesn’t make a big difference to you but if a former employee takes you to a Tribunal, you may want to ask the Tribunal to order them to pay a deposit before they can continue.

Increase in Costs that an Employment Tribunal can award

Costs awards are rare in the Employment Tribunal and are usually only made when a party has acted unreasonably or maliciously.

The maximum amount of costs an employment tribunal can award will increase from £10,000 to £20,000.

Action: If you instruct solicitors in defending a Tribunal claim, you may be able to recover more of your costs.

Employment Judges to sit alone on unfair dismissal cases

Unfair dismissal cases used to be heard by a judge and 2 lay members. From April,  they will be heard by a judge sitting alone without lay members.

Action: Nothing for you to do – just thought you might like to know.

And finally . . .

If you would like to discuss any of these changes to employment law, please feel free to contact me on 01604 601 575.