Twice a year, the government introduces a range of regulation changes, with the most recent being 6th April 2014.
This month we’ve set out some of the notable changes effective from that date.
For the first time, financial penalties of 50% of the compensation payout will be introduced for employers who lose at tribunal. Imposed at the Tribunal’s discretion, this will be subject to a penalty of minimum £100 and maximum £5,000. Multiple successful claims from one individual will be treated as a single claim.
Before lodging a claim to the Tribunal, all claimants will now need to notify ACAS where conciliation will be offered. If this is unsuccessful within the set period, the claimant can then lodge a tribunal claim. Employers should consider allocating a particular member of staff as the key contact for such matters. Both parties will remain at liberty to decline participation in the early conciliation process.
Sick Pay Recovery.
Where previously employers were able to recover a percentage of statutory sick pay from HMRC if they had a relatively high level of sickness absence, this option has been removed. This could be of significant importance to smaller employers. However a new helpline advice service which will accompany a state-funded employee health scheme, is set to be introduced at the end of 2014, offering free occupational health assistance for employees, employers and GPs. One aspect of this service is the availability of an occupational health assessment after four weeks of sickness absence.
Immigration Fines to Rise.
The penalty for taking on an individual that does not have the right to work in the UK is now set to increase, with the current £10,000 limit set to be capped at £20,000 per employee.
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The author of this article was Tom Simpson; Solicitor at Harold Stock & Co Solicitors.
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