2014 Employment Law Changes which May Affect You
As of the 31st January 2014, the TUPE changes have flown into action! The whole point of TUPE is to make employment easier on companies, rather than employees. Some of the reforms include a change of workplace location not necessarily leading to ‘unfair’ redundancies.
Conciliation will be mandatory for anyone who is looking to lodge a complaint with the Employment Tribunal. All claimants will have to notify ACAS first and then undergo mediation. If the conciliation falls apart, the claim can escalate and face the scrutiny of the Tribunal.
Employment Tribunal Placing Financial Penalties on Employers
Any employer that loses a case at the Employment Tribunal will be fined a financial penalty of between £100 and £5,000. This penalty will be ordered when a worker has had his or her rights breached.
Statutory Paternity, Maternity, and Adoption Pay
There will be an increase in this state benefit to £138.18. At the moment, it is £136.78 or 90% of your average weekly earnings. For the first 6 weeks, you should still receive 90% of your average weekly earnings.
All employees will have the right to flexible work and employers will have to consider all requests with an open mind. Employers will still have the right to refuse on business grounds, but they can’t unreasonably decline.
A health and work assessment is being set up to offer free occupational health assistance. This assessment will be put into action after four weeks of absence. These solicitors based in Preston can help you further. Statutory sick pay will increase from £86.70 to £87.55.
Parents will be allowed to decide how to split their post-natal leave. Instead of mothers getting the lion’s share, parents can split this between themselves. Mothers will still be required to take at least two weeks off after the birth, but otherwise, it can be doled out as they see fit. Unpaid time off will also be given to the partner of the pregnant woman to attend up to two ante-natal appointments.
Surrogate parents will also be allowed to take shared pay and leave. They will also have the right to take two days off unpaid to attend the ante-natal appointments of the woman who is carrying the child.
Despite opposition from Trade Unions and equality groups, the government has decided to remove discrimination questionnaires and remove it from the Equality Act 2010. A new, informal process and an ACAS guide will replace it.
National Minimum Wage Increase
Usually, the national minimum wage (NMW) increases to reflect the economic climate. For 21 year-olds (and over), the NMW is £6.31. 18 to 20 year-olds should expect £5.03, and under 18s should receive £3.72. These figures will change later this year.
The employment tribunal will also be given powers to ensure that men and woman are receiving equal pay. If any pay discrepancies are identified, an employer could face prosecution.