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:-

  • maximum week’s pay (for redundancy payments and the unfair dismissal basic award): £508 (currently £489)
  • maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal: £83,682 (currently £80,541)

Compensation limits 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.

Shared parental leave

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

Adverse Weather Policies

Disruption caused by adverse weather conditions can be difficult for employees and employers alike. Employers have to grapple with getting business done with a limited workforce whilst employees face the uncertainty of whether they will be paid if they have to stay at home because of school closures or just aren’t able to get into work.

Employees should ensure that they have back up plans for childcare and travel if they are reliant on public transport but in emergency situations an employee is entitled to take unpaid time off to look after their dependents, for example if their child’s school is closed and there is no other childcare at short notice.

Tips for dealing with Adverse weather conditions

  • Plan in advance by having a clear written adverse weather policy. In the event of adverse weather conditions, will employees be paid if they can’t get in to work, can they make the time up or can they take a day’s holiday?
  • Consider any Health and Safety implications of employees struggling to get to work, but make it clear what you expect from them in terms of getting to work.
  • Consider whether employees can work from home, is your business able to offer remote working with IT so that business disruption is minimised for employees not physically able to be in the workplace?

We can advise you on how to deal with this difficult situation and draft an adverse weather policy tailored to your business needs. Please contact us to discuss further.