Tom Stenner-Evans
Posted on 28 Feb 2014

Government’s Latest Announcement on Employment Law Reform

On 17 January 2013, Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson announced plans for employment law reform, marking the next steps in the government’s response to the ‘Ending the Employment Relationship’ consultation.

The key developments are:

  • To introduce a new cap of 12 months’ pay on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal, if lower than the current limit;
  • To publish an ACAS statutory code of practice concerning the operation of settlement agreements;
  • Launch of a consultation on the reform of TUPE 2006, with consideration of the removal of the ‘service provision change’ provisions and removal of the obligation to provide employee liability information. This consultation will end on 11 April 2013 and the following links to the consultation documents:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transfer-of-undertakings-protection-of-employment-regulations-tupe-2006-consultation-on-proposed-changes

  • Launch of a consultation on proposals for mandatory pre-claim conciliation through ACAS, including how the early conciliation process will work and the form that claimants will need to complete. This consultation will end on 15 February 2013 and you can access the consultation document here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/early-conciliation-consultation-on-proposals-for-implementation

  • To help British businesses tackle long-term sickness absence in the workplace by implementing a new independent assessment and advisory service. The service will give employers access to independent advice in cases of sickness absence lasting more than four weeks. This is on the back of the recommendations contained in the 2011 report, Health at Work: an independent review of sickness absence;
  • and To simplify the regulation of the recruitment sector. The Employment Agency Act 1973 and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 are likely to be repealed and replaced with a new regulatory framework.

In addition, it has recently been announced that the 90 day consultation period, prescribed where 100 or more redundancies are proposed under s.188(1A) of TULR(C)A 1992, will reduce to 45 days from 6 April 2013.

Many of these proposals have been publicised previously, but these further announcements confirm that reform of employment law is still firmly on the government’s agenda. We will be sure to keep you updated with any developments.

If you have any queries about these reforms, or any other employment concerns, please contact our Employment Team on 01392 688 688.