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Employment Law – better business practice in 2012

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A host of employment law changes are planned for 2012 that could hopefully make running your business a whole lot easier.

It’s all due to the government’s “Red Tape Challenge” that aims to identify which existing employment regulations should be scrapped or improved.

The challenge aims to make life simpler for you as a business owner as well as to boost economic recovery in the UK.

Some of the main changes you need to be aware of include:

  1. Resolving workplace disputes

This consultation is on wide-ranging reforms to the existing employment tribunal system. Its aim was to resolve more disputes earlier without recourse to a tribunal. It also looked at ways to achieve a fast, user-friendly and effective tribunal system to give business owners more confidence in hiring people.

  1. Employment tribunal fees

This consultation is to consider the merits of two very different fee charging structures. The first option proposes an issue fee and a hearing fee, based on the size of the claim and whether it was an individual claim or multiple claims.

The second option is considering only an issue fee based on what the claimant states their claim to be worth.

  1. Modern workplaces

This consultation sets out a plan for creating a culture of flexible, family-friendly employment practices in the UK. The main proposals include:

  • Unpaid leave for fathers to attend antenatal appointments and an 18-week period of maternity leave for mothers, followed by a new 34-week period of shared parental leave
  • The right to request flexible working to be extended to all employees with 26 week’s continuous employment and a new requirement for employers to consider requests “reasonably”
  • The ability for workers to carry used leave over to the next holiday year, including any not taken due to absence on maternity, adoption, parental and paternity leave
  • Increasing employer flexibility on annual leave by allowing employers to buy out their employees’ additional 1.6 week’s annual leave entitlement under regulation 13A of the WTR 1998; or to require employees to carry over all or part of this entitlement in cases of genuine overriding business need
  • New power for employment tribunals to order employers to conduct and publish a pay audit if it is found to have breached the Equality Act 2010

If you would like advice on how to prepare for any of these employment law changes in 2012, please feel free to call Robert Tice on 01332 226 149 for a FREE confidential chat.


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