The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill has been rather exciting for us all by keeping employment law in the public eye for a number of months. It represents a big shake-up of employment law and we did our best to timetable the many changes anticipated in the Bill (amongst others) in our January article which you can see here.
The Government announced some more amendments to the Bill this month which are summarised below:
- Following the decision in the case of Redfearn v The United Kingdom (2012), the Government proposes to amend the Employment Rights Act 1996 to make unfair dismissal claimants exempt from the 103 week qualification period for such claims where they allege that the reason or principal reason for their dismissal relates to their political opinions or affiliation. This change will come in force two months after the Bill becomes law and will apply to dismissals after that date.
- Another amendment concerns the proposal to impose financial penalties on employers that lose an Employment Tribunal case. We reported on this in our article on reforms which can be seen here. The amendment will provide that a Tribunal must have regard to an employer’s ability to pay a penalty. As already indicated in the original proposal and now set out in the amendment, there will be a minimum penalty of £100 and maximum of £5,000.
- There are also amendments which concern whistleblowing protection which are dealt with in a separate article this month and you can view this here.
As always, we will aim to keep you informed of the progress of the Bill and what all the changes mean for you.
If you would like to talk through a situation you are dealing with, or if you need advice on any aspect of employment law, please contact any member of the Pure Employment Law team (01243 836840 or [email protected]).
Please note that this update is not intended to be exhaustive or be a substitute for legal advice. The application of the law in this area will often depend upon the specific facts and you are advised to seek specific advice on any given scenario.