The Sack Race?

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The Sack Race?

  1. 1. The Sack Race? – Forthcoming employment law reformsPeter Stevens, Nicola Brown & Anna Rabone
  2. 2. Employment Tribunal Claims• Year to 31 March 2011• 218,100 cases• 382,400 claims
  3. 3. Employment Tribunal ClaimMarch to September 2011• 40,300 cases• 30% reduction on 2010
  4. 4. Employment Tribunal Claims• Of 382,400 claims: 47,900 Unfair dismissal + 16,000 Redundancy pay 930 Reason for dismissal 64,830• 317,570 – no qualification period
  5. 5. Unfair DismissalIncrease in qualification period• 1 to 2 years• 6 April 2012• Reduce claims by 3,700 to 4,700 per year
  6. 6. Transitional Provisions• Only apply to employees who start on or after 6 April 2012
  7. 7. Unfair Dismissal• Encourage recruitment• Rules are barrier to recruitment
  8. 8. Unfair Dismissal• 6 month qualification period (1970s)• 2 year qualification period (1980s)• 1 year qualification period (2000s)• No evidence of impact on recruitment
  9. 9. Unfair Dismissal• Increase in discrimination claims• R (Seymour-Smith) v S of S for Employment (2000) HL• Age discrimination
  10. 10. Fines and Fees Nicola Brown
  11. 11. Introduction of fines (1)• „Financial penalties‟ for employers• 50% of award made • minimum £100 • maximum £5,000• Payable to the Exchequer• Early payment discount• In addition to uplift under ACAS Code
  12. 12. Introduction of fines (2)• Consultation responses - concerns about “unintended or accidental shortcomings”• Judges will have discretion to impose the financial penalty
  13. 13. Deposit orders and costs• “Address business concerns about weak claims”• Deposit orders – cap increasing from £500 to £1,000• Cap on costs to increase from £10,000 to £20,000
  14. 14. Introduction of fees• Employment Tribunals are currently 100% funded by taxpayers - annual cost £84 million, average £1,800 per case• Transfer the burden on to those who use the system or who cause the system to be used• Currently consulting about reform – closes 6 March 2012, changes coming in 2013/4?
  15. 15. Proposal One• Level 1 – wages, notice, redundancy etc• Level 2 – unfair dismissal• Level 3 – discrimination, equal pay, whistleblowing• Issue fee = £150 - £250• Hearing fee = £250 - £1,250• Other fees, e.g. Dismissal fee = £60 (payable by Respondent)
  16. 16. Proposal Two• Single charging point• Fee = £200 - £600• For claims of £30,000 or more = £1,750• How should claims be valued?
  17. 17. Fees• Paid by the other party if you win (unless Tribunal orders otherwise) – but what is a win?• Separate fees for multiple claims• No infrastructure in the Employment Tribunals
  18. 18. The remission system• Tim – claims unfairly made redundant, has since secured another job at a lower salary. His wife works part time earning £6,000 and they have 3 children• Entitled to full remission if the couple‟s income is £26,790 or less• Get the claim in before you get a new job!
  19. 19. Protected Conversations Anna Rabone
  20. 20. Protected Conversations• David Cameron - “so a boss and an employee feel able to sit down together and have a frank conversation – at either‟s request”.• Will not be admissible in proceedings.
  21. 21. Protected Conversations• Nick Clegg - “confidence to be open about performance, about retirement with their employees”.• At consultation stage.
  22. 22. Protected Conversations• Issues: • Elements that are not protected (discrimination). • Refusal to engage in protected conversations. • Systems already in place.
  23. 23. Protected Conversations• Advantages – Address issues more directly – No fear of reprisal• Disadvantages – False sense of security – Will not cover all scenarios – More complex legislation or guidance for employers to grapple with
  24. 24. Other ReformsPeter Stevens
  25. 25. Other Reforms• Employment Tribunal lay members• Witness statements taken as read• Schedule of loss from outset
  26. 26. Other Reforms• The role of ACAS• Early Conciliation
  27. 27. Other Reforms• Rapid resolution of simple claims• Regional mediation networks
  28. 28. Other Reforms• Increase in statutory caps• Basic award - £400 to £430• Compensatory award - £68,400 to £72,300
  29. 29. Other Reforms• TUPE Service Provision Changes• Collective Redundancy Consultation
  30. 30. Other Reforms• Compromise Agreements• Equality Act s 147 • independent adviser may not be a party to the contract or a person acting for a party to the contract • anomaly being addressed
  31. 31. And Finally• Compromise Agreements (ERA 1996)• Qualifying Compromise Contracts (Equality Act 2010)• Settlement Agreements
  32. 32. Any Questions?

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