The UK Government’s annual Red Tape Day, on April 6, has passed with some major changes to employment legislation.
The changes include provisions for the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) to offer optional early conciliation to settle disputes without the need to go to often expensive and prolonged tribunals. From May 6, 2014, it will become a mandatory requirement for a claimant to have made an Early Conciliation notification to ACAS. This results in the freezing of the tribunal process, for up to one month, after which, if no agreement is reached, the normal tribunal process resumes.
In addition, Employment Tribunals can impose financial penalties of between £100 to £5,000 on employers who lose employment tribunals in which aggravating circumstances are present.
Other changes include the abolition of the statutory Discrimination & Equal Pay Questionnaire process. However, employees who fear they have been discriminated against will still have the right to ask questions of their employers.
You can find details of these and other changes to employment legislation at www.acas.org.UK/index-aspx?articleid=954