April 2012’s Employment Law Changes

This week an article caught our eye which explores employment law changes in the UK that impact upon employers and we thought it would be interesting to report what the key things we need to know are.

To mark the beginning of each new financial year, there are a number of changes carried out to employment law and this year it includes changes to the tribunal procedures, statutory maternity and even sick pay.

Statutory maternity and sick pay changes

From April, the weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increases by £6.72 to £135.45 with statutory sick pay also increasing per week by £4.25 to £85.85 on 6 April 2012.
On 6 April 2012, the rate of personal tax allowance increases to £8,105 with the higher income tax rate of 40% being reduced to £34,371.

Increase for the qualifying period for unfair dismissal

For employees who start employment on or after the date of the 6 April 2012, the qualifying period increases from 1 to 2 years for making an unfair dismissal claim. With this change, also the qualifying period increases for one to two years for the right to receive a written statement of reasons for dismissal, upon request.

Pensions auto-enrolment calculation date

In October 2012 employers must check their PAYE scheme to discover the amount of employees they have in order to determine when the staging date of when employers must auto enrol employees into a workplace pension scheme is.

Other changes

Other changes that will affect employers include reforms to the employment tribunal procedure, to make them both quicker and cheaper for all. Accident reporting requirements change for reporting work based accidents have also been extended.

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