• International Workplace
  • 26 March 2014

Keep on top of upcoming changes to employment law

Last year saw some big changes to employment law, and in the coming weeks there is set to be another raft of legislation changes that employers need to keep abreast of.

2014 kicked off with amendments to TUPE Regulations in January, and on 6 April 2014, there will be a number of further changes to employment law for HR professionals to get their heads around.

Discrimination questionnaire procedure repealed

On 6 April 2014, the statutory discrimination questionnaire procedure will be abolished. Previously, this procedure allowed employees who believe they may have been discriminated against to submit a formal questionnaire to their employer before they bring an Employment Tribunal claim (or within three weeks of bringing a claim).

This was very time consuming for employers and if they refused to comply, the Tribunal could draw an adverse inference from this.

However, employers must be aware that employees can still ask questions of the employer and again, if the employer refuses, this may count against them in any subsequent discrimination claim.

Employment Tribunal penalties

On top of any compensation awarded, from 6 April 2014, Employment Tribunals will also have a discretionary power to impose financial penalties on employers who lose a claim.

The penalty will be set at half of the total compensation award made by the Tribunal, subject to a minimum of £100 and a maximum of £5,000. The penalty will be payable to the Government and will be reduced by 50% if paid within 21 days. It is not yet clear when Tribunals will order penalties but the Government has suggested there would need to be some “unreasonable behaviour” such as “negligence or malice” on the employer’s part.

In addition to these - to name just a few - there is also the introduction of early conciliation, changes to right to request flexible working and the upcoming Health & Work Assessment Advisory Service for employers to take on board.

This provides a mere snapshot of what is happening to employment law over the coming months, but to hear an in-depth review of all of these changes, plus more, sign up to our next one day Facilities Management Legal Update, where Workplace Law HR Consultant, Tar Tumber, will be on hand to answer all of your queries.