Annual Increase in Tribunal Awards

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2018 has been laid before parliament, coming into force on 6 April 2018. It contains the normal annual increases to maximum and minimum tribunal awards.Key increases are:-

New compensation limits in force from 6 April 2018

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2018 SI 2018/194 has been made and will increase the compensation limits and minimum awards that are payable under employment legislation from 6 April 2018. The limit on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal will rise from £80,541 to £83,682; the limit on a week’s pay for the purposes of calculating, among other things, statutory redundancy payments and the basic award for unfair dismissal, will increase from £489 to £508; guarantee pay will increase from £27 to £28 per day; and the minimum basic award in cases where a dismissal is unfair by virtue of health and safety, employee representative, trade union, or occupational pension trustee reasons will increase from £5,970 to £6,203.

The new rates take effect where the ‘appropriate date’ for the cause of action (such as the date of termination in an unfair dismissal claim) falls on or after 6 April 2018. Where the appropriate date falls before 6 April, the old limits will still apply, irrespective of the date on which compensation is awarded.

Increase in compensation payments

BIS has made The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2016, containing the annual increases in compensation payments, before Parliament.

It applies to dismissals (or detriments, etc) occurring on or after 6 April 2016.

The main changes are:-

Grandparents eligible for shared parental leave and Pay in 2018

On 5 October 2015 it was announced that the government intends to extend shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents. The government hopes that the planned change will increase flexibility and choice in parental leave arrangements and support working parents with the costs of childcare during the first year of a child’s life. The government intends to consult on the issue in the first half of next year, with the legislation expected to come into force sometime in 2018.

Research by the government suggests that nearly 2 million grandparents have given up work, reduced their hours or have taken time off work to help their families who struggle with the costs of childcare. The government estimates that grandparents are contributing as much as £8 million each year in childcare costs. The government states that ‘more than half of mothers rely on grandparents for childcare when they first go back to work after maternity leave, and over 60 per cent of working grandparents with grandchildren aged under 16 provide some childcare’.

Did you find our post ‘Grandparents eligible for shared parental leave and Pay in 2018’ useful? Read more on Shared parental leave here

Update: Tribunal award increase

From 6th April 2014 the maximum compensatory award given by an Employment Tribunal will be increased from £74,200 to £76,574 subject to the limit of one year’s pay if this is a lesser amount.  It also increases the maximum for a ‘week’s pay’ in assessing a basic award and a statutory redundancy payment from £450 to £464.

July 29th 2013 Changes to employment law

As of today (July 29th 2013) the following changes to UK employment law apply:

Employment Tribunal Fees

From 29 July anyone wishing to make a claim in the Employment Tribunal or lodging an appeal in the EAT will need to pay a fee, unless they are able to obtain an exemption.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

On 1 December 2012, the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to form the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The following changes to terminology have resulted:

Key dates relevant to the operation of the new service include:

DBS has announced that the new “Update Service” will be launched this summer. This new service will enable individuals to register once for a DBS check which will then be automatically updated and available for organisations to check.

HARASSMENT: AN EMPLOYER’S OBLIGATIONS

There has been much news publicity recently surrounding harassment, particularly on the grounds of disability and sex. According to Macmillan Cancer Support there has been an increased number of employees with cancer feeling discriminated when they return to work.

This is supported by a YouGov survey that shows 37% of employees experience discrimination at work after they have had cancer, with 9% leaving and 13% claiming their employer had failed to make reasonable adjustments. As cancer is classed as a disability, companies need to ensure that they act legally when dealing with such employees.

Also sharing the headlines have been claims of sexual harassment, often with such conduct being ignored by companies and other work colleagues. An employer will often be held responsible for the discriminatory actions of its employees and may also be responsible for discrimination by external bodies such as recruitment agencies if they are acting with the employer’s authority. It is therefore important for an employer to investigate any such allegations that arise and if necessary take the appropriate remedial action.

What is harassment?

Harassment involves unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an offensive, intimidating or hostile environment. It is discriminatory if it is related to the following protected characteristics:

Why is it important for employers to know about discrimination law?

Ensuring equality

Discrimination is governed by the Equality Act 2010; its’ purpose is to ensure equality of opportunity at work, to protect employees’ dignity and to ensure that complaints can be raised without fear of reprisal.

Damaging publicity and loss of staff morale

Allegations of discrimination or harassment are likely to create bad publicity for an employer; an Employment Tribunal hearing is held in public, often with the press in attendance in the hope of gathering an interesting news story for publication in local, or even national, media. It is wiser to prevent a claim than to have to manage the consequential fallout after a claim has been made. Discrimination and harassment issues can be highly emotive, and the process may have a negative impact on employee morale.

High compensation payments and expensive litigation

There is no limit to the amount of compensation that an employee can be awarded by an Employment Tribunal in a successful discrimination case. A company also has to factor in the significant management time involved and legal costs, which are usually not recoverable in an Employment Tribunal.

Practical steps employers can take to reduce the risk of an Employment Tribunal claim:

Employee shareholders rejected

The House of Lords has again voted to reject the proposed Employee Shareholder status set out in the Growth and Infrastructure Bill.

The government is determined to press ahead with this scheme and has published some concessions in the hope that the House of Lords will agree; these are:

The government had made some earlier concessions to the original proposals:-