Employment Law Update: Oct 2013

  • Equal Opportunities – there has been a fair bit of debate regarding employers being responsible for third party harassment.  This is something that has now been removed and therefore employers are not expressly liable for the harassment of their employees by a third party.  However this clearly means that as employers, we still have responsibilities to make sure that our employees are protected and policies should include information on what employees should do in the event that they feel harassed by a third party.  In addition acts that took place before 1st Oct 2013 are the employer’s liability.
  • On 1st Oct 2013, the National Minimum Wage increased to £6.31 for those 21 and over. It’s £5.03 for those 18-20 and £3.72 for workers under the age of 18.
  • In September 2013 the government decided not to repeal its existing provisions on service provision changes (SPC) in relation to TUPE legislation
  • A new code of practice has been published on the Information Commissioner’s Office website advising organisations how they should be dealing with Subject Access Requests (SARs)
  • The new framework on pre-termination agreements negotiations and settlement agreements (formerly ‘compromise agreements’) came into force in the summer
  • New tribunal forms came into force at this time – please make sure that you are using the revised ET1 and ET3 forms as the old forms will be rejected.
  • In July we saw the long awaited introduction of fees for claimants bringing tribunal claims – we have yet to see how these will impact on the number of claims being brought and the number of cases being heard.
  • There has been a fair amount of talk regarding ‘employee shareholder’ contracts which came into force last month.  On a practical note, it is unlikely that these will be a popular option for many employers.

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