Employment Law Changes – June 2013
• Whistleblowing Rights are amended so that a disclosure is not protected unless the employee has a reasonable belief that the disclosure is made in the public interest. Whistleblowing can be defined as being when a worker reports suspected wrongdoing at work. This is significant because, if the principal reason that an employee is dismissed is that he or she has made a protected disclosure, then the normal two-year qualifying period for unfair dismissal rights and the cap on any compensatory award are circumvented.
In addition, a disclosure now does not have to be made ‘in good faith’ i.e. the employee could be motivated by money or spite but, in these circumstances, a tribunal has the power to reduce compensation by up to 25%.
The Simply-Docs Whistleblowing Policy has been amended accordingly.
• Changes to Tribunal Procedure Proceedings before the Employment Appeal Tribunal will now be heard by a judge sitting alone.
• The two-year qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims will be removed where the dismissal relates to the employee’s political opinion or affiliation.
• There will be changes to the statutory payments to be made on 6 April each year e.g. statutory redundancy payments. Awards will be rounded to the nearest pound.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.