News & Events

What's on the horizon for 2013 and beyond?

Submitted By Firm: Addleshaw Goddard

Contact(s): Michael Leftley, Sarah Harrop

Author(s):

Amanda Steadman

Date Published: 1/8/2013

Article Type: Legal Update

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2013 is shaping up to be a momentous year from an employment law perspective as the Government's reform of the employment law landscape begins to take effect.  The forthcoming year will see the enactment of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, reforms to the collective redundancy regime and the introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunal and EAT for the first time.  We report here on the key developments expected in 2013 and beyond.

 

Impact Date

Development

Early 2013

Consultation on the new system of flexible parental leave to be published.  The consultation will cover the detail of how the new system will work.  For further information, see our report here.

Early 2013

Consultation on the new statutory ACAS Code of Practice on flexible working to be published.  ACAS are to publish a new statutory Code of Practice on how the new consideration process will work in the context of dealing with flexible working requests.  The Code will explain what reasonable means and how employers should deal with conflicting requests.  There will also be guidance on how flexible working rights interact with discrimination legislation.  For further information, see our report here.

1 February 2013

Certain Tribunal compensation limits will increase.  The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £72,300 to £74,200 and the maximum amount of a week's pay will rise from £430 to £450.

March 2013

The number of weeks unpaid parental leave will increase from 13 to 18 to comply with the revised EU Parental Leave Directive.  For further information, see our report here.

April 2013

The rates for various statutory payments such as statutory maternity and paternity pay will be increased.  Statutory maternity pay will increase from £135.45 to £136.78 per week and statutory sick pay will increase from £85.85 to £86.70 per week.

April 2013

New "employee shareholder" (formerly "employee owner") status to come into force by way of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill.  Employers will be able to offer employees between £2,000 to £50,000 worth of shares in their company (free of CGT) in exchange for them agreeing to give up certain rights in respect of unfair dismissal, redundancy and flexible working and to provide 16 weeks' notice of an early return date from maternity or adoption leave (instead of the usual 8 weeks' notice).

6 April 2013

Reforms to the collective redundancy regime to come into force (plus a new non-statutory ACAS guidance to be issued).   The consultation period for redundancy exercises involving 100+ employees within a 90 day period will be reduced from 90 days to 45 days.  In addition, fixed-term contracts which have reached the agreed termination point will be excluded from the collective redundancy regime.

Spring / Summer 2013

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to come into force.  It includes the following provisions:

  • Introduction of the ACAS pre-claim conciliation process before claims can be issued in the Employment Tribunal.
  • Introduction of a "Rapid Resolution" scheme where legal officers can determine claims.
  • EAT judges to sit alone (unless directed otherwise or in specified proceedings).
  • Introduction of new system of "protected conversations" (and new statutory ACAS Code of Practice, including template letters and settlement agreements) whereby employers can have off-the-record settlement discussions with employees (will apply to unfair dismissal claims only).
  • Variation of the compensatory award for unfair dismissal cap at 12 months' pay and overall cap of between £25,882 - £77,646.
  • Financial penalties for employers who breach employment rights where there are aggravating circumstances (maximum award: £5,000).
  • Introduction of a requirement that whistleblowing disclosures are made in the public interest.
  • Repeal of third party harassment provisions in the Equality Act 2010.
  • Abolition of discrimination questionnaires.
  • Introduction of mandatory equal pay audits.
  • Introduction of a power for Employment Tribunals to make deposit orders against specific claims.
  • Introduction of a power for Employment Tribunals to award costs and expenses to litigants in person.

Summer 2013

Introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunal and EAT to come into force.  For further information, see our report here.

Summer 2013

Reforms to the Employment Tribunal rules to come into force.  For further information, see our report here.

October 2013

Legislation requiring quoted companied to report on the gender balance within their company to come into force.  For further information, see our report here.

In 2013

Consultation on proposals to reform TUPE 2006 to be published.  For further information, see our report here.

In 2013

Response to the working time elements of the Modern Workplaces consultation to be published.  This will address issues such as the carry over of annual leave which is untaken due to sickness.

2014

Right to request flexible working extended to all employees who have 26 weeks' service. For further information, see our report here.

2014

ACAS guidance on handling flexible working requests and the interaction of discrimination legislation with flexible working rights to be published.

2015

The following family-friendly rights to come into force:

  • New right for fathers to attend up to two ante-natal appointments.
  • New system of flexible parental leave and pay.
  • Improved rights for those who become parents by way of adoption or surrogacy.
  • Age limit of child for purposes of parental leave to increase from 5 to 18 years.

 

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Altra Industrial Motion Inc.

Altra Industrial Motion Inc. has multiple locations in the U.S., as well as Central America, Europe, and Asia. The Employment Law Alliance has proved to be a great asset in assisting us in dealing with employment issues and matters in such diverse venues as Mexico, Australia, and Spain. We have obtained excellent results using the ELA network for matters ranging from a multi-state review of employment policies to assisting with individual employment issues in a variety of foreign jurisdictions.

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American University in Bulgaria

In my career I have been a practicing attorney, counsel to the Governor of Maine, and CEO of a major public utility. I have worked with many lawyers in many settings. When the American University in Bulgaria needed help with employment litigation in federal court in Syracuse, New York, we turned to Pierce Atwood, the ELA member we knew and trusted in Maine, for a referral. We were extremely pleased with the responsiveness and high quality of service we received from Bond Schoeneck & King, the ELA's firm in upstate New York. I would not hesitate to recommend the ELA to any employer.

David T. Flanagan
Member of Board of Trustees 

Arcata Associates

I really enjoyed the Conducting an Effective Internal Investigation in the United States webinar.  We are in the midst of a rather delicate employee relations issue in California right now and the discussion helped me tremendously.  It also reinforced things that you tend to forget if you don't do these investigations frequently.  So, many, many thanks to the Employment Law Alliance for putting that webinar together.  It was extremely beneficial.

Lynn Clayton
Vice President, Human Resources

Barrett Business Services, Inc.

I recently participated in the ELA-sponsored webinar on the Employee Free Choice Act.  I was most impressed with that presentation.  It was extremely helpful and very worthwhile.  I have also been utilizing the ELA's online Global Employer Handbook.  This compliance tool is absolutely terrific. 

I am familiar with several other products that purport to provide up-to- date employment law information and I believe that this resource is superior to other similar compliance manuals.  I am delighted that the ELA provides this free to its members' clients.

Boyd Coffee Company

Employment Law Alliance (ELA) has provided Boyd Coffee Company with a highly valued connection to resources, important information and learning. With complex operations and employees working in approximately 20 states, we are continually striving to keep abreast of specific state laws, many of which vary from state to state. We have participated in the ELA web seminars and have found the content very useful. We appreciate the ease, cost effectiveness and quality of the content and presenters offered by these web seminars.  The Global Employer Handbook has provided our company with a very helpful overview of legal issues in the various states in which we operate, and the network of attorneys has helped us manage issues that have arisen in states other than where our Roastery and corporate headquarters are located in Portland, Oregon.

Capgemini Outsourcing Services GmbH

As an international operating outsourcing and consulting supplier Capgemini has used firms of the Employment Law Alliance in Central Europe. We were always highly satisfied with the quality of employment law advice and the responsiveness. I can really recommend the ELA lawyers.

Hirschfeld Kraemer

As an employment lawyer based in San Francisco, I work closely with high tech clients with operations around the globe. Last year, one of my clients needed to implement a workforce reduction in a dozen countries simultaneously. And they gave me 48 hours to accomplish this. I don't know how I could have pulled this off without the resources of the ELA. I don't know of any single law firm that could have made this happen. My client received all of the help they needed in a timely fashion and on a cost effective basis.

Stephen J. Hirschfeld
Partner 

Hollywood Entertainment Corporation

As the Vice President for Litigation & Associate General Counsel for my company, I need to ensure that we have a team of top-notch employment lawyers in place in every jurisdiction where we do business. And I want to be confident that those lawyers know our business so they don't have to reinvent the wheel when a new legal matter arises. With more than 3400 stores and 35,000 employees operating in all 50 U.S. states and across Canada, we rely on the ELA to partner with us to help accomplish our objectives. I have been delighted with the consistent high quality of the work performed by ELA lawyers. I encourage other in-house counsel to use their services, as well.

Ingram Micro

Ingram Micro is the world's largest technology distributor, providing sales, marketing, and logistics services for the IT industry around the globe. With over 13,000 employees working throughout the U.S. and in 35 international countries, we need employment lawyers who we can count on to ensure global legal compliance. Our experience with many multi-state and multi-national law firms is that their employment law services are not always a high priority for them, and many do not have experts in many of their offices. The ELA has assembled an excellent team of highly skilled employment lawyers, wherever and whenever I need them, and they have proven to be an invaluable resource to our company.

Konami Gaming

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Jennifer Martinez
Vice President, Human Resources

Nikkiso Cryo, Inc.

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Palm, Inc.

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Stacy Murphy
Former Senior Director of Human Resources

Rich Products

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Senior Vice President/General Counsel, Shared Services and Benefits

Ricoh Americas Corporation

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Roberts-Gordon LLC

Our affiliated companies have used the Employment Law Alliance in connection with numerous acquisitions, and have always been extremely pleased with our ability to obtain the highest quality legal advice on due diligence issues from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. We have found the Employment Law Alliance firms to be not only first rate with respect to their legal advice but also responsive and timely in assisting us with federal and state law issues critical to our due diligence efforts. We consider the Employment Law Alliance to be an important part of our team.

Rockwell Collins, Inc.

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Elizabeth Daly
Assistant General Counsel

Sanmina-SCI

Sanmina-SCI has facilities strategically located in key regions throughout the world. Our customers expect that we will provide them with the highest quality and most sophisticated services in the marketplace. We have that same expectation for the lawyers with whom we do business. With operations in 17 countries, we need to be certain that we have a team of lawyers working together to address our employment law needs worldwide. The ELA has delivered exactly what it promised-- seamless and consistent high quality services delivered in each locale around the globe. It has quickly become a key asset for our human resources department.

Starwood

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Wilmington Trust Corporation

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Michael A. DiGregorio
General Counsel  

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