Thursday, January 05, 2012

Employment Law Prospects 2012: Workers are going to be stuffed

This is from the newsletter published yesterday by Employment Law Barrister Daniel Barnett:-

"Expected Developments in Employment law" 2012 (my comments in italics)

"31 January
closure date for calls for evidence on the effectiveness of TUPE and the scope of the collective redundancy rules - may result in a formal consultation later in the year (TUPE protection will be brought down to the absolute minimum and you could be made redundant in just 30 days)

1 February
new tribunal award limits come into force (Good but still inadequate)

6 March
consultation closes on fees in tribunals and the EAT (It could cost you around £1750 to go to an employment tribunal - far more if you want to appeal)

expected that qualifying period for unfair dismissal will increase to 2 years · various tribunal reforms to take effect, e.g. increase in deposit orders and costs awards (bad)· unpaid parental leave to increase to 4 months · working time rules to be amended to allow holiday to be carried forward in limited circumstances · maternity/paternity/adoption pay increases · SSP increases (you could be sacked for no good reason after 1 year 11 months and you will have no effective legal remedy)

pensions auto-enrolment begins for larger employers (Good) · national minimum wage may increase, depending on what the Low Pay Commission recommends in February (wait and see)

Developments with no confirmed date but likely to be progressed in 2012
penalties for employers who breach of employment rights (Good but expect wrist slap)· early compulsory ACAS conciliation of all tribunal claims (possibly good) · amendment of whistleblowing rules so that disclosures about breaches of employment contracts are no longer covered (Bad) · compromise agreements to be simplified (possibly good) · consultation on 'protected conversations' between employers and staff about employment issues without risk of dispute (your employer could bully you out of your job legally without protection)· consultation on rapid resolution scheme as alternative to tribunal for low-value and straightforward disputes (Fixed penalty ticket justice?)

· Acas Disciplinary and Grievance Code to be 'looked at' with a view to a simpler dismissal process (nuf said?)

Do not expect the "law" to protect you at work. Time to join a union for collective protection and the Labour Party to get rid of this Government in 2015.

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