New HR Legislation January-March 2013

Overview of important changes for business in HR legislation from January to March 2013 inclusive:

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1st Jan 2013: New Percentages for Pension Revaluation:

New percentages for pension revaluation are up; view the UK Gov Table of Pension Revaluation Percentages for revaluation percentages of occupational pension scheme benefits on or after Jan 1st 2013. Note that the revaluation percentages are now calculated by Retail Price Index – RPI (formally calculated by Consumer Price Index – CPI).

9th Jan 2013: Apprentice Minimum Wage Enforced for Employees under Apprenticeship Agreement:

The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (Consequential Amendments to Subordinate Legislation) (England and Wales) Order 2012 amends the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 so that employees under apprenticeship agreements are entitled to “Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage Rate” (see table below).  Also, with this order, the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 does not apply to apprenticeship agreements anymore.

Apprentice National Minimum Wage 2012-13: 21years old and upwards £6.19, 19-20 years old £4.98 and under 19 or in the first year of apprenticeship £2.65

Source & for more minimum wage rates: https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

19th Jan 2013: New Motor Vehicle Driving Licences Validity Period and Medical Test Requirements

For all licences issued on or after 19 January 2013, those for Group 1 categories (cars and motorcycles) must generally have a validity period (AVP) of 10 years, and those for Group 2 categories must generally have a 5 year validity period (although shorter AVPs on grounds of age or disability are permitted).

For Group 2 categories, new drivers from 19th Jan 2013, (and anyone renewing their licence over 65) will be need to provide a medical examination report to confirm they meet medical standards for driving these vehicles; renewing the licence under 45 will require signing a declaration that they are still fit for duty. More information can be found at www.nidirect.gov.uk.

Make sure your drivers aren’t caught off guard by the legislation!

1st Feb 2013: New tribunal award limits:

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2012 increases the limits applying to certain employment tribunal rewards (and other amounts payable under employment legislation) given for events occurring after 1st Feb 2013. Events from before 1st Feb 2013 leading to tribunal rewards are limited by the previously in force Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2011. (See table below for a summary of important award limits).

Tribunal Awards Limits from Events Before/After 1st February 2013: Situations: Unfair dismissal (before £72.3k, after £74.2k maximum); Unfair dismissal or selection for redundancy on grounds of union membership or activities (before £5.3k, after £5.5k minimum); Unfair dismissal of an individual on grounds of the individual performing (or proposing to perform) functions as a representative (or candidate) for health and safety or trade unions or as a trustee for a relevant occupational pension scheme (before 5.3k, after 5.5k minimum). Payment to an employee for calculating basic awards and various additional awards: In respect of any single day’s pay (before £23.50, after £24.20); In respect of a week’s pay (before £430, after £450).

Source & for more tribunal award limits: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2012/3007/schedule/made

Also, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (due in February 2013) is expected to amend the formulae for various tribunal awards and statutory redundancy payments, rounding awards to the nearest pound.

8th March 2013: Unpaid parental leave increases to 18 weeks:

The Parental Leave Directive 2010 (postponed enforcement until 2013) increases the right to unpaid parental leave from 13 weeks (three months) to 18 weeks (four months) from 8 March 2013. This unpaid leave can only be taken within the first five years of the child’s life or in the case of adoptive parents within the first five years of the adoption or by the child’s 18th birthday (if it is sooner). For more details on Parental Leave, check out www.acas.org.uk.

March 2013: Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill:

In March 2013 the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill is due to:

  • Repeal a provision of the Equality Act 2010, which provides that the employer will, in certain circumstances, be liable where an individual is harassed by a third party (such as a customer).
  • Amend Tribunal procedure in discrimination cases, requiring employment tribunals to order an equal pay audit where an employer breaches the equal pay provisions under the Equality Act 2010 (except in prescribed circumstances).

March 2013: DBS Checks (formerly CRB checks) Become Portable:

Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) functions were transferred to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) on 1st Dec 2012. Formally known CRB checks are now obtained as DBS checks from the DBS. Expected March 2013 (as per the Home Office Business Plan 2012-15), once a DBS check has been completed, the results will be portable (available online for employers to confirm that no new information has been added since the check was originally conducted). This will enable an employee to not require a new check every time he or she starts a new job.

Fast Forward to April:

There are even more changes due April including all new: employee-shareholder contracts; collective consultation period; responsibility for real-time payroll Information; statutory payments; and much more, look out for our overview of April changes closer to the time!

Factsheet: HR: New Legislation January-March 2013
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