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Each year, April is always a time for change in employment law, and this year the changes are particularly significant. Tomorrow, 6 April, sees some significant procedural changes and amendments in the employment tribunals and also changes to unfair dismissal law and a much needed clarification to the Equality Act.
There has been some confusion over which changes will come into force this year and which will come into force in subsequent years. To clarify, the changes which will come into force on 6 April 2012 (and therefore those which will apply to cases submitted to an Employment Tribunal on or after 6 April 2012) include the following:
In one much publicised area, though, there is no change quite yet. The Government consultation on tribunal fees resulted in two options being put forward, although neither has been implemented yet. Option 1 proposes that an issue fee and a hearing fee should be introduced. This option might be implemented in 2013. Option 2 proposes that only an issue fee be introduced and that the level of this fee is based on what the Claimant states their claim to be worth. Current thinking is that it would take until 2014 for option 2 to be implemented in full.
For further information, see the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 and the draft Employment Tribunals Act 1996 (Tribunal Composition) Order 2012 that implement the above changes (click on the links to download).
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