The following is a calendar* of dates that trade unions and their members may find helpful.
It covers deadlines for responding to government consultations and the dates when various changes in legal provisions become effective.
31st - The government consultation on Collective Redundancy Consultation Rules closes on 31 January (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills).
31st - The government consultation on the Effectiveness of transfer of undertakings (protection of employment - TUPE) Regulations 2006 closes on 31 January (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills).
1st - New compensation limits come into force on 1 February 2012 (for details see LELR 250). These include an increase on the cap on a week's pay from £400 to £430; and the maximum compensatory award from £68,400 to £72,300.
End - Low Pay Commission due to publish its recommendations for changes to the national minimum wage from October 2012 at the end of February.
6th - The government consultation on Introducing Fees in employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal closes on 6 March (Ministry of Justice).
8th - European Union member states have to increase the amount of unpaid parental leave for employees from three to four months by 8 March.
1st - The rate for statutory maternity, paternity, adoption pay and maternity allowance will increase from £128.73 to £135.45; statutory sick pay will increase from £81.60 to £85.85 on 1 April.
6th – The Lower Earnings Limits for national insurance contributions will increase from £102 to £107 on 6 April.
6th - The qualifying period for claiming unfair dismissal goes up from one to two years on 6 April.
6th - The maximum amount of a costs order which Tribunal can award increases from £10,000 to £20,000.
6th – The amount of a deposit Order which a Tribunal can award as a condition to continuing with an Employment Tribunal claim increases from £500 to £1,000.
The late May bank holiday has been moved to 4 June, with an additional bank holiday on 5 June 2012 to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The Pensions Act 2008 requires employers with 120,000 or more employees in a PAYE scheme to start automatically enrolling employees into a qualifying pension scheme, unless the person opts out
Below are some of the additional changes to the law announced by the government which are still under consideration:
- "Closing the loophole" in whistleblowing law whereby a complaint about a breach of the employment contract itself can be protected
- Simplifying compromise agreements by introducing pro forma agreements
- Requiring all claims to be submitted to ACAS for pre-claim conciliation
- Introducing financial penalties for employers who lose at Tribunal, with a minimum threshold of £100 and a maximum level of £5,000
- Consulting on "protected conversations" so that “a boss and an employee feel able to sit down together and have a frank conversation - at either's request" (read Thompsons response to this proposal)
- Reviewing the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 in 18 months' time
- Simplifying the 17 pieces of National Minimum Wage legislation into one set of Regulations.
*This calendar was correct at time of publication.