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2014 Employment law changes

View profile for Phil Cookson
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The first half of 2014 sees a number of employment law changes coming in to force. Most have been well publicised, and employers should already be aware of them, but in case some have passed you by, the key points can be summarised as follows:

Automatic pension enrolment - extension of time to enrol

As the drive to automatic pension enrolment continues, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has confirmed that it will, from April 1st 2014, extend the deadline for employers to auto-enrol eligible employees into a qualifying scheme from one month to six weeks.

ACAS and tribunal claims

From 6th April 2014, all potential claimants will have to lodge details of their potential employment tribunal claim with ACAS, who will then offer both parties the opportunity to take part in conciliation. To allow for this extra step, Claimants will have longer to lodge their claims with the Employment Tribunal.

Repeal of Discrimination questionnaire

After 6th April 2014, employees will no longer have use of the statutory procedure that enables individuals to obtain information from their employer about discrimination that can be used as evidence in tribunal proceedings.

TUPE Changes

There are important changes to TUPE regulations which are intended to come in to force on 31st January 2014, including a new provision enabling a transferee to consult pre-transfer with representatives of transferring employees for the purposes of complying with the collective redundancy rules.

Financial penalties for employers

From 6th April 2014 Tribunals will have the power to impose financial penalties against employers if they are breaching employment rights, where the breach has one or more aggravating features.

Flexible working

From 6th April 2014 all employees with at least 26 weeks' service will have the right to request flexible working, in a similar manner to the rules that apply to employees with children under the age of 17 (or 18 if disabled) or are carers now. Employers will have a duty to deal with any requests in a 'reasonable' manner.

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