What The New Employment Laws Can Mean For Your Career

What the new employment laws can mean for your career

What the new employment law can mean for your career

The relationship between you and your boss has always been a hot topic here at YCB and we have given you a lot of advice on how to deal with terrifying bosses, tips on how to be a good employee, ways to impress your manager and how to do so without being a total kiss-ass. And whether you are having the greatest manager in history or having to deal with an awful Miranda Priestly – kind of boss, it is important to be aware of the fact that the world is changing quickly for employees, especially in the UK.

Legislative changes during 2013 mean that the playing field has shifted and it’s fair to say that it has done so more in the favour of employers than employees. But few things in life are black and white and there are some good elements to the changes for employees too.

Also, as the legislation is new and continually evolving as it becomes enacted in practice, there are few test cases so far. What this means for you as an employee is that it’s always important to seek expert legal advice before embarking on any legal action against your employers. For instance, if you have been fired, you may seek attorney negotiation for severance package.

So what exactly has changed, and what will the changes mean for you and your career? July’s changes to employment law is explained here. For a quick summary, please read on…

The main change is in the way industrial tribunals are handled. Most notably, to make a legal claim against an employer, from now on, in an employment tribunal, you’ll need to pay an upfront fee. This will include an issue fee whenever a claim is initially lodged with a tribunal, and another fee whenever the case is.

For all “Level 1” claims covering more minor areas such as unpaid wages and salaries, payments in lieu of notice, and payments for redundancy, the issue fee is set at £160 whilst the hearing fee will be £230.

For more serious “Level 2” claims covering areas such as unfair dismissal claims, equal pay, and “whistleblowing”, the issue and hearing fees are set at £250 and £950, respectively. Higher fees are payable where cases cover multiple claimants. There is also a special scheme for employees with lower incomes who can apply to have fees waived, though this will need to be demonstrated and there can be an income and/or capital test.

The logic behind the act that came into law in July 2013 is that those who benefit most from the tribunal process should help pay for it. It is also designed to encourage people to think twice before making a claim – to help reduce red tape and the number of bogus claimants etc.

The “Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013” also means employers are now allowed to engage in “pre-termination negotiations” with any employee – even in cases where a formal dispute has not arisen, without this course of action being used against them in any way.

Finally, the Act introduced a new cap on unfair dismissal awards for. Before the Act, the maximum compensation for routine unfair dismissal cases at employment tribunals was £74.2k to cover past and future salary loss etc. Now, the amount will be equivalent to a year (52 weeks’…) salary or £74.2k, whichever amount is the lower.

By: Emma Carey