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Employment law in 2012: What you need to know

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As the New Year celebrations subside, employees and business owners up and down the country have been told to take heed of a raft of employment law changes ready for introduction in 2012.

Employers will need to prepare themselves for increased demands in 2012, but if you’re a hard working employee, it’s important to know what increased rights are coming your way over the next 12 months.

Here are the most important changes for 2012:

– From April 2012, parental leave entitlement will increase from three to four months.

– Effective as of April 9th, Statutory Maternity, Paternity and Adoption pay will increase to £135.45 per week.

– In addition, Statutory Sick Pay will increase to £85.85 per week, a rise of £4.25 a week.

– Changes to the Employment Tribunal system will include:

• Maximum deposit orders being increased from £500 to £1,000
• Maximum costs orders being increased from £10,000 to £20,000
• Witness statements will no longer be read aloud and will be taken “as read”, unless the Tribunal directs otherwise
• Tribunals have the power to direct that the parties to a dispute are responsible for paying witnesses’ expenses and that the party which loses the case should reimburse the successful party for any such costs already paid out
• Employment judges will be permitted to hear unfair dismissal cases alone

– Working time rules will be amended, allowing holidays to be carried forward in limited circumstances.

– From April 2012, the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims will likely increase from one year to two.

– From October, the pensions auto-enrolment scheme for larger employers will commence.

For more information on upcoming changes to employment law, and how they could affect you, contact our employment experts today. 2012 will see arguably the greatest change to employment law in many a decade. Staying informed will be the key to making the next 12 months as pain-free as possible.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

January 26, 2012 at 10:12 am

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