Yesterday, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) published a ‘Progress on Reform’ report which sets out a new implementation timetable in respect of some of the more major employment law reforms due to come into force later this year.
Many of these reforms were originally scheduled to come into force as early as April 2013 but have now been delayed.
In its report, BIS reiterates that the government’s overall intention behind the reforms is to create greater flexibility in the labour market through the use of 'light touch' regulation. This is on the premise that such flexibility will give employers the confidence to hire people whilst knowing they can reduce the size of their workforce at any time when economic circumstances dictate.
The new timetable that has been unveiled for the employment law reforms is as follows:
In the summer of 2013 the following reforms are intended to come into force:
- protected settlement conversations;
- revised rules on employment tribunal procedures;
- the 12 month earnings cap on compensatory awards for unfair dismissal claims;
- new tribunal fees; and
- a stricter regime for whistleblowing laws.
In the autumn of 2013 the following reforms are intended to come into force:
- the introduction of employee shareholder status; and
- reforms to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE).
It is also understood that 2014 will see the implementation of:
- ACAS Early Conciliation; and
- the introduction of tribunal penalties for employers where there have been aggravating features to a tribunal case.
More information on the new timetable and the government’s recent comments on the reforms in general can be found here.