Employment Law Update April 2014

Employment Law Update April 2014

ACAS' Early Conciliation Service is to begin on 6 April 2014

From this date, anyone wishing to lodge a tribunal claim will have to notify ACAS first.  ACAS will offer Early Conciliation with the objective of resolving the dispute quickly and in the most cost effective way possible.

If conciliation is unsuccessful within the period of time set, the claimant can then lodge a tribunal claim.

However, if an issue can't be resolved in the workplace, then reaching a settlement through conciliation at the earliest opportunity is quicker, cheaper and less stressful for all concerned than a tribunal hearing.

Employment Tribunals to have the power to impose financial penalties on employers from 6 April 2014.

Employment Tribunals have been given the ability to raise a financial penalty against an employer who loses a case and where there are ‘aggravating features’.  The penalty is payable to the Secretary of State and can range from £100 to £5000. Where a financial award is made the penalty will be 50% of that award to a maximum of £5000.  It is for the Tribunal to determine what constitutes ‘aggravating features’ but this will take into account factors such as the circumstances of the case and the employer’s circumstances.

Increase in statutory payment rates from 6 April 2014

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) have increased from £136.78 to £138.18 for payments weeks commencing on or after 6th April 2014.

Maternity Allowance has seen an increase from £136.78 to £138.18.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) has increased from £86.70 to £87.55.

The lower earnings that applies to National Insurance contributions has increased from £109 to £111 per week.  Those below this rate are not entitled to SMP, SPP, SAP and SSP.

The statutory Weeks Redundancy pay increased to £464 from 6th April 2014.

Changes to tax and thresholds from 6th April 2014

The income tax personal allowance increased to £10,000.

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