There have been a number of changes to employment law this year that every employer should be aware of if they want to be up to date with the law.
The start of a new tax year always brings some kind of change but this year has seen more change than most and it affects everyone – no matter how small their business. In order to make sure your business complies with the new legislation it’s important to be up to date with all of the changes that have come into place.
· Business secretary Vince Cable has initiated an Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which makes changes to the current tribunal system. Employers will
now be able to have a conversation with an employee about ending their contract of employment under a settlement agreement – an agreement which has the aim
of resolving any issues before court action begins. The bill also allows the secretary of state to alter the limit of compensation that can be received
after unfair dismissal.
· The limit on the amount of compensation that can be awarded after a successful unfair dismissal tribunal has been increased.
· The Government have also introduced employee-shareholder contracts which mean that the employees become shareholders in the company but they also give up certain employment rights.
· Unpaid parental leave has increased from 13 to 18 weeks which could involve looking at new schools or just spending more time with the family.
· Previously, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks which were formerly known as CRB checks have only been transferrable to a new employer at their discretion and if the check had been completed in the last six months. From March 2013 though, you will be able to transfer a DBS check to any new
· April saw a change in the redundancy consultation period; the period of consultation – the amount of notice prior to the first dismissal – has been reduced from 90 days to 45 days when more than 100 employees are involved.
· You will no longer have to spend an age filling out P14 and P35 forms for every employee at the end of the tax year because everything will be recorded in real time. The new system called Real Time Information (RTI) for payroll means that at the end of each month employers will have to use specialist software to transmit information about the deductions that have been made for tax and national insurance from an employee.
· Maternity, paternity and adoption pay has also been increased to £136.78 per week which is great news for all new parents.
· The rate of statutory sick pay has also risen to £86.70 per week.
· Great news for employees is that the income tax barrier has been lifted to £9,440 per year which means you can earn this without being charged tax.
· Finally, something to think about for later in the year is the fact that the government has announced an increase on the minimum wage for adults and for 18-20 year olds which will be introduced in October 2013. The hourly rates will increase by five pence from £4.98 to £5.03 for 18-20 year olds and by 12 pence from £6.19 to £6.31 for adults. There’s great news for apprentices too as although it had been said that the minimum wage for apprentices would be
frozen it has actually risen three pence to £2.68 per hour.