• Changes Confirmed
  • January 17, 2013 | Authors: Peta-Anne Barrow; Daniel Ornstein
  • Law Firm: Proskauer Rose LLP - London Office
  • 1 February 2013

    The cap on unfair dismissal compensatory award will increase from £72,300 to £74,200 and the cap on weekly pay (used to calculate the unfair dismissal basic award and statutory redundancy pay) will increase from £430 to £450. Maximum unfair dismissal awards will therefore rise to £87,700.

    Before 8 March 2013

    Before the deadline of 8 March 2013, the Government will implement regulations to increase the permitted period of parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child from three to four months.

    April 2013

    The weekly rate of statutory maternity/paternity/adoption pay will increase from £135.45 to £136.78. The weekly rate of statutory sick pay will rise from £85.85 to £86.70.

    6 April 2013

    The Government has announced plans to:

    • Reduce the current 90 minimum period between starting consultation and the first dismissal taking effect, for 100 or more proposed redundancies, to 45 days.
    • Legislate to make clear that the expiry of fixed term contracts is excluded from the obligations for collective redundancy consultation (but early termination of such contracts for redundancy will still be covered).
    • Introduce new non-statutory ACAS guidance to address a number of key issues affecting collective redundancies consultation (such as the meaning of "establishment").

    Draft Regulations will be issued and the changes are expected to be made by 6 April 2013.

    Summer 2013

    From Summer 2013 claimants will have to pay an issue fee to the Employment Tribunal when they lodge a claim or appeal followed by a hearing fee prior to a hearing.

    The level of fee will be determined by the type of claim. The fee for more straightforward Level 1 claims (including claims for breach of contract, unauthorised deductions from wages, holiday pay, various statutory time off rights, and failure to pay a protective award or redundancy payment) will be £160 for issue and £230 for the hearing. All other claims will be Level 2 (covering unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistle-blowing claims) and subject to an issue fee of £250 and a hearing fee of £950.

    There will also be charges for making certain applications:

    • £100 for an application to set aside a default judgment;
    • £60 for an application to dismiss a claim following the claim's settlement or withdrawal;
    • £600 for an application for judicial mediation, payable by the employer;
    • £160 to bring a breach of contract counter-claim; and
    • £100 (Level 1) or £350 (Level 2) for an application for a review of a tribunal's decision or judgment.

    There is a separate fee structure for multiple claims (i.e. claims submitted jointly by more than one claimant) in employment tribunals.

    For Employment Appeal Tribunal, the issue fee is £400 and the hearing fee is £1,200. There is only one level of fee regardless of the type of claim or number of claimants.

    Employment Tribunals will have the power to order the unsuccessful party to reimburse the fees paid by the successful party.

    The current remission system that is used in the civil courts, under which fees can be waived if the party cannot afford to pay, will be extended to Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

    October 2013

    The Government intends to make amendments to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill and consult on regulations that will apply to the remuneration of directors of quoted companies. These reforms are intended to make executive pay packages and the rationale for them more transparent to shareholders and to increase shareholder power to challenge payments made to executives. As currently drafted, key proposals include:

    • A "Policy Report": a report on a company's remuneration policy that a quoted company will be required to publish. The Policy Report must be approved by shareholder majority and any changes to it must be put to a shareholder vote. Even if there are no changes, the Policy Report must be put to shareholders every three years; and

    • An "Implementation Report": this is a report that a quoted company will be required to publish annually showing how its remuneration policy has been implemented in practice. Amongst other specific requirements, the Implementation Report must set out the total remuneration received by every director in a transparent format and expressed as a single figure and provide details of any termination payments made to directors. The Implementation Report must be put to shareholders and if not approved by a majority, the Policy Report must then be put to a shareholder vote.

    It is anticipated legislative changes will come into force by October 2013.