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2012 - what to expect in employment law

6 January 2012

The dawn of 2012 brings the annual discussion about upcoming employment law developments. The following may be of particular interest to employers:

  • The qualifying period for unfair dismissal is expected to be increased from one to two years in April
  • Pensions auto-enrolment for larger employers begins in October
  • Consultations are to be progressed on the introduction of the following:
    • ‘protected conversations’ between employers and employees about employment issues
    • a standard text for compromise agreements
    • allowing smaller employers to execute ‘no fault’ dismissals on payment of a prescribed sum
    • early compulsory conciliation of all claims
    • introduction of fees to bring a tribunal claim

The government is keen to reduce the amount of red tape in employment law to support business and boost the economy. This will be welcomed by employers. However care must be taken to ensure that the changes improve the effectiveness of the current framework, and do not simply add to employers’ administrative burden.

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