The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill received Royal assent in April of this year and now the Enterprise and Regulatory Report Act 2013 will gradually come into being over the next 12 months.
The government has announced some key dates for changes surrounding Employment Law and Employment Tribunal procedures which will come into being from June of this year.
The Employment Rights Act of 1996 will be amended in relation to whistle-blowing disclosures, which will not be protected unless the whistle blower has reasonable belief that he or she is acting within the public interest. Another amendment to the same act will see changes to the good faith requirements in relation to whistle-blowing cases.
Also from June 2013, the two year qualifying period for claims of unfair dismissal will no longer be applicable where the dismissal was as a result of the employee’s political opinions. Also from June this year a number of procedures involving Employment Law and the financing of Employment Tribunal cases will be simplified. This forms part of the coalition government’s objective to reduce bureaucracy and red tape in the Employment and Business sectors.
Further amendments will come out over the next 12 months and this will include a repeal of a section of the Equality Act 2010 which is related to third party harassment and the subsequent liability of an employer.
Another interesting change is in relation to unfair dismissal cases. Employment Tribunals will not be able to take into consideration any discussions between an employer and an employee or in relation to an offer that may have been made before the termination of employment. Other changes will include strict liability for breaches of health and safety duties.