Increase to unfair dismissal qualifying period applies to new joiners only

We have reported in recent E-Bulletins that the unfair dismissal qualifying period will increase from one year to two years, with effect from 6 April 2012. It has recently been clarified that this increase will only apply to new employees recruited on or after 6 April. Therefore, if you currently have any employees who will have between one and two years’ service on 6 April, those employees will not lose their right to claim unfair dismissal. Only those who are recruited on or after 6 April will have to work for two years before they gain unfair dismissal rights.

DWP releases revised time-table for auto-enrolment

The DWP has issued a revised time-table of staging dates for auto-enrolment, which provide for a delay in implementation dates for small and medium sized employers. Larger employers with an existing auto-enrolment staging date on or before 1 February 2014 will be unaffected. Medium-sized employers will be re-allocated staging dates between 1 April 2014 and 1 April 2015 and small employers will be allocated staging dates between 1 June 2015 and 1 April 2017. A consultation document setting out the detail of these changes will be published shortly, together with draft regulations. Further details can be viewed here.

Increase to deposit orders on 6 April 2012

Parliament is proposing to increase the maximum amount an employment Tribunal can require by way of a deposit order, from the current £500 to £1,000. A deposit order is an order of a Tribunal, requiring either party to pay a deposit, as a condition of continuing with the proceedings, when the Tribunal has determined that the relevant party’s case has little reasonable prospects of success. It is likely the Tribunals will be granted this increased power with effect from 6 April 2012.

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