Employment Law Updates
With effect from July 2013 Compromise Agreements were renamed settlement agreements. There are also new measures on what can be discussed at pre-termination stage.
Pre-termination negotiations inadmissible in court
From July 2013, even where no dispute has yet arisen, discussions held with a view to terminating employment under a settlement agreement will be inadmissible in ordinary unfair dismissal claims.
Reform of employment tribunal process
From July 2013, pre-hearings now, in effect, became an attempt to limit the number of cases going forward to tribunal. They are an opportunity for alternative resolutions to be looked at and evidently weak cases will be thrown out.
The national minimum wage increases
From 1st October 2013, the National Minimum wage will increase.
The adult rate will increase by 12 pence to £6.31 an hour.
The rate for 18-20 year olds will increase by 5 pence to £5.03 an hour.
The rate for 16-17 year olds will increase by 4 pence to £3.72 an hour.
The apprentice rate will increase by 3 pence to £2.68 an hour.
The accommodation offset will increase from £4.82 to £4.91.
Employers no longer liable for third party harassment against their employees
From 1st October 2013 the provision under the Equality Act which makes employers liable for third party harassment against their employees is to be repealed. Employers should be aware however that depending on the facts, employees may still be able to argue that an employer’s failure to act in response to third party harassment amounts in itself to harassment or discrimination within the scope of the other Equality Act definitions.