Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill
This Bill, which entered the 'Report Stage' of the House of Lords at the end of February and from where further amendments are expected, before it continues its progression to through to Royal Assent, some time in the early part of 2013, though a final implementation date is not yet known.
As a reminder, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill will: -
Implement various reforms to the Employment Tribunal System including: -
Requiring perspective claimants in dispute with their employers to send information to ACAS to attempt to reach a settlement before submitting their claim. The information they will be required to submit will be clearly prescribed.
Allow for certain claims to be heard by ‘Legal Officers’ with the agreement of both parties.
Revises the regulations governing Employment Appeal Tribunals to allow appeals to be heard by a judge sitting alone, unless directed otherwise by a judge.
Introduces a power for Employment Tribunals to order employers who have breached workers’ rights to pay a financial penalty to the Government where there are ‘aggravating features’ of the case. The penalty range will be between £100 and £5,000 and will normally be 50% of the amount of any award made against the employer by the Tribunal.
Compromise agreements will become Settlement agreements
• Allow employers to have ‘protected conversations’ with an employee with a view to terminating their employment under a settlement agreement.
• Allow the Secretary of State to change, by order the limit on the Unfair Dismissal compensatory award to median annual earnings, three times median annual earnings or 52 times the week’s pay of the individual
• The inclusion in the Equality Act 2010 to provide for regulations to require Employment Tribunals to order an employer to conduct an Equal Pay Audit if they are found to be in breach of equal pay regulations.
This is quite a significant piece of legislation and a further update will be provided next month...