Employment Law Changes April 2012

Changes in April 2012; Employment Tribunal procedure reformed, Qualifying period for Unfair Dismissal increased, Statutory payments increased, RIDDOR reporting periods increased, Pension Auto enrolment new rules coming Oct 2012 – checks needed now.

Statutory payments Increased:

Important changes have been made to statutory weekly pay. For full details see HMRC.

  • Maternity, paternity and adoption pay – effective 1 April 2012 – Increased from £128.73 to £135.45
  • Sick pay – effective from 6 April 2012 – Increased from £81.60 to £85.85

RIDDOR reporting period Increased:

Amendments to the RIDDOR Procedure outlined below now applies as of 6 April 2012.

  • the period of incapacity before an occupational injury or accident is required to be reported by an employer has increased from more than 3 days to more than 7 consecutive days.
  • the period before the employer is required to submit the report has increased from 10 to 15 days.

Employment Tribunal Procedure Reformed:

Amendments to the Employment Tribunal Procedure outlined below now applies to cases submitted to an employment tribunal on or after 6 April 2012.

  • the maximum expenses which a tribunal may order a party to pay, increased from £500 to £1,000 and may also include covering costs incurred by a witness in attending a tribunal to give evidence
  • the maximum costs that a tribunal may order an employer to pay increased from £10,000 to £20,000

A separate amendment also applied from 6th April enables unfair dismissal proceedings to be heard by an Employment Judge alone unless they direct otherwise.

Qualifying period for Unfair Dismissal Increased:

For employees starting on or after 6 April 2012, the qualifying period of continuous employment required is increased from one to two years (see The Unfair Dismissal and Statement of Reasons for Dismissal Order ):

  • for the entitlement, on request, to a written statement of reasons for dismissal
  • to acquire the right not to be unfairly dismissed, some dismissals are still automatically considered to be unfair. (see ACAS )

Pension Auto enrolment new rules coming Oct 2012:

Check your staging date on the timeline now, as it applies to the number of employees on 1 April 2012, regardless of any changes between then and October 2012. From their given ‘staging date’, employers are required to auto-enrol all eligible employees in a pension scheme. The ‘staging date’ for employers is based on the number of employees in their PAYE scheme on 1 April 2012 and ranges from October 2012 into 2017. For detailed guidance see The Pensions Regulator.

Factsheet: HR – Employment Law changes April 2012
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