Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

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• a mandatory period of Acas conciliation before issuing tribunal proceedings, with an extension of time to bring claims
• introduction of ‘legal officers’ to make decisions in certain cases if all parties agree in writing
• EAT cases to be heard by a judge alone, unless ordered otherwise
• power for the Secretary of State to limit unfair dismissal compensatory awards to a maximum between the national median earnings and 3 x median earnings (roughly this translates to between £26,000 and £78,000) or to limit the unfair dismissal compensatory award to one year’s earnings
• power for a tribunal to impose a penalty on employers of 50% of any financial award, subject to a minimum of £100 and maximum of £5,000, where there are “aggravating features” (this has not yet been defined), with a 50% discount for payment within 21 days
• definition of ‘qualifying disclosure’ in whistleblowing legislation to be restricted to disclosures “in the public interest” (this has not yet been defined)
• ‘compromise agreements’ to be renamed ‘settlement agreements’