Recent Changes in Employment Law

Unfair Dismissal

On 6th April 2012, the qualifying period for employees to bring a claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal increased from one to two years. This rule is only applicable to employees that commence employment on or after the 6th April 2012. Anyone employed before this date will only have to accrue one year’s service before bringing a claim for unfair dismissal.

Employment Tribunals

As from April 2012, Employment Judges can sit alone to hear unfair dismissal cases. A panel of two lay members and an Employment Judge will still be required for more complicated cases such as discrimination.

Prior to April 2012 it was usual practice for the Tribunal to ask witnesses to read out their witness statements. However, as from April, witness statements will be taken as read unless a Tribunal directs otherwise.

Rate Increases

1st April 2012:
Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay and Statutory Paternity Pay increased from £128.83 to £135.45 per week.

6th April 2012:
Statutory Sick Pay increased from £81.60 to £85.85 per week.

If you have any questions about any of these matters please contact Nicola O'Dwyer by email or your usual contact in the employment team.