United Kingdom -Set of spring laws change employment landscape -July 02, 2013

A set of unemployment laws and a new labour contract cleared the houses of parliament this spring, which will drastically change industrial relations. Changes are focused on family policies and dismissal. In order to comply with EU legislation, the parental leave regulations bring the allowed parental leave  up from 3 to 4 months and includes agency workers in its scope, giving them the right to flexible working hours after parental leave as well. Rates of maternity, paternity and adoption pay were increased from £135.45 (€159.19) to £136.78 (€160.77) per week. On the issue of dismissals and redundancies, a range of measures has made it cheaper and easier to fire employees. The statutory minimum redundancy consultation period for cases affecting more than 100 employees was shortened, the possibilities for workers to bring claims against unfair dismissal have been limited, protection for whistle-blowers reduced, a cap of 12 months’ pay on dismissal compensation was introduced and the Agricultural Wages Board, which set minimum wages in agriculture, has been abolished. From 29 July, fees will be introduced for employment tribunal claims: a £160 (€188) issue fee plus a £230 (€270) hearing fee for claims regarding breaches of collective laws, such as unlawful deduction of wages, and a £250 (€294) issue fee plus a £950 (€1,117) hearing fee for cases such as unfair dismissal, discrimination, equal pay and whistleblowing. From 1 September, employers will be able to hire personnel under an ‘employee shareholder contract’, in which shares, exempt from capital gain tax, of between £2,000 (€2,351) and £50,000 (€58,794) of value, are given to employees in exchange for weaker protection against dismissal and redress. Under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, changes are expected to enhance the powers of the advisory, conciliation and arbitration service.

English: http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/eiro/2013/05/articles ...

 

For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) cbn-aias@uva.nl or the communications officer at the ETUI, Mariya Nikolova mnikolova@etui.org. For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit http://www.etui.org/E-Newsletters/Collective-bargaining-newsletter. You may find further information on the ETUI at www.etui.org, and on the AIAS at www.uva-aias.net.


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