Employment law changes this month

Changes in the qualifying period for unfair dismissals, a reform of employment tribunals and an increase in maternity, paternity, adoption and sick pay came in at the end of this month.

Changes in the qualifying period for unfair dismissals, a reform of employment tribunals and an increase in maternity, paternity, adoption and sick pay came in at the end of this month.
On 6 April 2012, the qualifying period for bringing an unfair dismissal claim increases from one year to two years in the majority of cases. Only those who start a job after this date will be affected.
The main changes to employment tribunals concern the increase in the maximum amounts of deposit and costs orders which can be granted by the Employment Tribunal. Employment judges will be able to hear unfair dismissal cases alone and also witness statements do not have to be read out loud at the hearing.
Another change involves an amendment toThe Equality Act to confirm that an independent adviser can act as an employee’s representative when they sign a compromise agreement. 
From 1 April the weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increased from £128.73 to £135.45. On 6 April 2012, the weekly rate of statutory sick pay increase from £81.60 to £85.85.





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