Employment in 2014 at a glance

Employment in 2014 at a glance

Reform of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE)
It is expected that the changes to the TUPE regime will come into force on 31st January 2014. The most significant changes to be made to the current TUPE regime are:
  • The current provisions relating to service provision changes will remain. However, the activities carried on after the change must be "fundamentally or essentially the same" as those carried on before it.
  • The obligation to provide employee liability information will remain, however this will have to be provided within 28 days rather than 14 days before the proposed transfer.
  • Change of location will be considered an Economical , Technical or Organisational reason.
  • The provisions restricting changes to terms and giving protection against dismissal will no longer apply to changes made for “transfer-related reasons”.
  • Micro-businesses will be allowed to inform and consult with their employees directly where there is no recognised independent union or existing appropriate representatives.
  • Early conciliation to come into force.  By April 2014 it is expected that early conciliation will be introduced. This will mean that claimants will be required to contact ACAS, who will attempt to promote settlement, before a claim can be submitted to the Employment Tribunal.  The time limit for bringing a claim will be put on hold while early conciliation is attempted. If conciliation is unsuccessful within the set period the claimant can proceed to lodge a tribunal claim. The purpose behind this scheme is to help prevent satellite litigation and make the best use of ACAS’ expertise. It is yet to be seen if this in fact will be the case.
Flexible working
The Government proposes to extend The Right to Request Flexible Working to all employees with 26 weeks’ service, rather than just those employees who qualify as parents or carers. Employers will also no longer be required to follow the statutory procedure regarding flexible working requests and must instead consider all requests reasonably. The extension of The Right to Request Flexible Working to all employees with 26 weeks’ service will come into force on 6 April 2014.
Managing sickness absence
The Government will introduce a health and work assessment and advisory service from Spring 2014. It is hoped that this will provide a state funded assessment by occupational health professionals for employees who are off sick for 4 weeks or more. It addition it will also provide case management for employee with complex needs to facilitate their return to work.

The government also intends to abolish the Statutory Sick Pay record-keeping obligations and allow employers to keep records in a flexible manner more suited to their organisation. The intended date of introduction is 6 April 2014.

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For any employment related information, please contact Claire Berry.

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