We have previously reported on the various employment law reforms that are due to be implemented in 2012. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has recently clarified some timings relating to these reforms. Set out below is the up to date position.
Unfair dismissal qualifying period
As set out in previous HR Briefings, the qualifying period for bringing an unfair dismissal claim will increase from one year to two years on 6 April this year.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has now confirmed to EEF that the increase in the qualifying period will not be retrospective. This means that the two year qualifying period will apply only to those employees starting new employment on or after 6 April. Those employed before 6 April will still be able claim unfair dismissal after one year’s service.
Increase in parental leave
In our recent HR Briefing, Confusion around parental leave entitlement?, we reported that the increase in parental leave from 13 to 18 weeks was not coming into force this April as some commentators had thought.
Since then, we have been informed that the extension to parental leave is now due to be implemented in 2013.
April 2012 changes
As we reported in our recent HR Briefing, The year ahead in employment law, subject to parliamentary approval, the Government still intends to implement certain changes to employment tribunal procedure on 6 April. These include witness statements being taken as read, judges sitting alone in unfair dismissal cases and changes to the limits for costs awards and deposit orders.
Member Briefings – Employment law update
Our next series of Employment Law Update member briefings, running in March 2012, will consider the strategic implications for employers of the increase in the unfair dismissal qualifying period, in relation to recruitment and managing employees. They will also provide a general update on legislative developments in 2012.
Reserve your place at our Member Briefing - Employment Law Updates