6 April 2014 marks the day when new Employment Law changes come into effect including the abolition of disability discrimination questionnaires and the power for Employment Tribunals to issue financial penalties to employers.  On change that was due to come into force in April 2014, but which has been put back to 30 June 2014 is the revamp of the flexible working regime.  As these changes will come into force in a few months’ time, now is a good opportunity to consider the issues and how to deal with them.

The Employment Tribunal statistics were released today. For some they have been a long time coming. Despite a whole host of caveats introduced into the commentary, the numbers are very stark. In short, the number of claims received by the Employment Tribunals between October and December 2013 was 79% fewer than in the same period of 2012, and 75% fewer than last quarter. People have been saying for a long time that since the introduction of fees into the Tribunal last July, ET claims have “fallen off a cliff”. We now know they are right.

Employment Tribunal fees were introduced for the first time in the UK on 29 July 2013 under the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 (SI2013/1893). The new fees mean that the cost of pursuing a single claim at the Employment Tribunal can be up to £1,200, depending on the category of the claim being brought.

Londoners breathed a collective sigh of relief last week when the second bout of planned strike action by the RMT and TSSA unions against plans to close a number of London Underground’s ticket offices was called off, following a mediation with London Underground. Not only were commuters spared severely disrupted journeys, but companies were spared the consequential impact of reduced productivity on their businesses. If the estimated statistics of the Federation of Small Businesses are believed, a loss for the economy of around £6 million was the result of the previous week’s two day strike, and it can be assumed that a similar loss would have resulted should the second strike action have gone ahead. 

Below are top tips and points for consideration for employers conducting a harassment investigation.