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The April spring clean

Once again it is April and with this comes the employment law equivalent of ‘spring cleaning’. The April 2013 ‘spring clean’ brings about the following changes:  

Collective Redundancy Consultation Period Reduction

Perhaps the most important change affects the procedure for an employer looking to make 100 or more employees redundant at one establishment within 90 days. Currently the consultation period for this type of mass redundancy is 90 days, meaning that however likely redundancies ultimately were, employees would still be employed for at least this period while the consultation took place. 

The net result of this was a higher cost to the struggling employer. From 6 April 2013, the compulsory consultation period is halved to 45 days.

Further, from 6 April 2013, the rules relating to which employees are counted among the 100 plus being made redundant during the relevant 90 day period, will change to exclude the expiry of fixed term contracts. 

Increase in Maternity and Sick Pay

Statutory sick pay will increase from £85.85 to £86.70 per week, with effect from 6 April 2013. 

In addition statutory maternity pay, ordinary and additional statutory paternity pay and statutory adoption pay will also increase from £135.45 to £136.78 per week, with effect from 7 April 2013. 

Employee Ownership Schemes

Some of you may recall the proposed employee-owner schemes, whereby employees could own a share of the business they were employed in in exchange for signing away certain employment rights, most notably the right to claim unfair dismissal.

This scheme has had a set back by the House of Lords and it is yet to be seen whether the proposal will be implemented in September as suggested by the Chancellor in the 2013 Budget. 

Discrimination damages 

It is worth noting the Court of Appeal decision in the case of Simmons v Castle, it was held that from 1 April 2013, the proper level of general damages such as ‘pain and suffering’ will be 10% higher. This is likely to cover injury to feelings awards in discrimination claims.  

If you need advice in relation to any of the issues set out in this blog please contact a member of our team on 01133 50 40 30 or at hello@scesolicitors.co.ukfor a free initial consultation.

Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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