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Stuart Chamberlain - Employment Law in 2012: Where are we? PPMA Seminar April 2012


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Stuart Chamberlain - Employment Law in 2012: Where are we? PPMA Seminar April 2012

  1. 1. Employment Law in 2012: where are we? Stuart Chamberlain Croner
  2. 2. Employment Law policy of Coalition Government  Act on bankers’ bonuses  Cut red tape & reduce regulatory burden– “The Red Tape Challenge”  Review workplace law  End “gold- plating” of EU law  Cap on immigration
  3. 3. Immediate action Provisions of Equality Act 2010 Vetting & Barring Scheme Default Retirement Age Additional Paternity Leave introduced as “interim measure”
  4. 4. Immediate action Delayed extension of right to flexible working Agency Workers Regs. into force (Oct.2011 – to be reviewed in 2012) Moratorium on new legislation affecting “micro” (ie fewer than 10 employees) from April 2011 Launched Employers Charter
  5. 5. Government Consultations etc 2011 -12
  6. 6. Consultations The Employment Law Review – throughout life of Parliament – with annual updates Resolving Workplace Disputes (Jan. – April 2011)– reform of unfair dismissal regime and tribunal reform; financial penalties for employers Modern Workplaces ( May – August 2011)- flexible parental leave; flexible working; equal pay & WTR
  7. 7. Consultations cont. BIS – dismissal with no risk of tribunal for micro businesses “Call for evidence” on TUPE and collective redundancies and on dismissal procedures (2012) Simplifying compromise agreements Removal of third-party harassment provisions – an “unworkable requirement”
  8. 8. Changes in April 2012
  9. 9. Reform of unfair dismissal regime Increase in awards (Feb. 2012) Increase in qualifying period (1 to 2 years) Implications?
  10. 10. Tribunal Reform Increase in deposit (£500 to £1,000) Costs against unreasonable and vexatious parties ( up to £20,000) Witness statements taken as read Employment judge to sit alone in unfair dismissal cases
  11. 11. What’s further in store in 2012?
  12. 12. What’s further in store in 2012? Changes to compromise agreements: name and wording “Protected conversations”: poor performance & retirement without risk of tribunal• ACAS conciliation
  13. 13. What’s further in store in 2012? Introduction of “rapid resolution scheme” eg holiday pay Review of paperwork obligations of Agency Workers Regulations. Reduction of minimum 90-day collective redundancy consultation period? Review of TUPE- possibility of change?
  14. 14. What’s further in store in 2012? Changes to Working Time Regs. – result of European Court decisions Introduction of fees for tribunal claims – problems? Fundamental Review of tribunal procedures under Mr Justice Underhill – effect? Change to Public Interest Disclosure Act
  15. 15. What’s further in store in 2012? Financial penalties on employers who breach employment rights – penalty payable directly to Treasury Result of “Call for Evidence” on dismissal processes - “compensated no-fault dismissals” for micro-businesses and Acas Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance
  17. 17. 1. Unfair Dismissal Misconduct & suspension – not to be a “knee-jerk response” (Crawford v Suffolk Mental Health NHS T ) And police involvement? EDT of summary constructive dismissal? (Horwood v Lincolnshire CC)
  18. 18. 2. Redundancy Suitable alternative employment – the “correct test” (subjective!) (Readman v Devon Primary Care T) Expiry of fixed-term contracts – redundancies? Collective consultation? (University of Stirling v UCU) When is obligation to consult triggered? A- G’s Opinion in USA v Nolan
  19. 19. 3. TUPE: Service Provision Change- the test “Activities” before and after the transfer Was employee assigned to transferred group of workers? Employees should be organised re. particular client Post – transfer “fragmentation” – TUPE 2006 will not apply
  20. 20. 3. TUPE: Regulation 4(9) - take care! Substantial changes in working conditions to material detriment – a subjective test Tapere [2009] & Abellio London v Musse - both cases involved change of location and mobility clauseThe lessons?
  21. 21. Finally, some words about socialmedia and the law