2 April 2015
Two bills, the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill and the Deregulation Bill, were passed just before the dissolution of parliament. Both will have far reaching effects on employment rights.
However, the changes need commencement orders to come into force. The composition of the next government therefor has considerable power over to what extent they are implemented.
Prescribed persons will be required to report annually of whistleblowing disclosures received, maintaining confidentiality obligations.
Employers failing to pay an ET award will face a “strong financial consequence”.
ETs will not be able to make “wider recommendations” that benefit a wider workforce than just the individual, e.g that a company should implement a diversity policy.
Ministers will be allowed to place a limit on the number of successful applications for the postponement of an Employment Tribunal hearing requested by a claimant or respondent.
Penalties imposed on employers found breaching minimum wage legislation will be increased, and imposed on a per-worker basis.
Zero Hours Contracts
Exclusivity in Zero Hours Contracts will be made invalid, in order that no employee is tied exclusively to a contract with no guarantee of work.
Public Sector Exit Payments
Individuals re-entering the public sector will be required to repay payments received on their exit
Health and Safety
The self-employed will be exempt from health and safety law as long as their work poses no potential risk of harm to others.
Gender pay reporting
By no later than spring 2016, employers with 250+ employees will be obligated to report the gender pay gaps within their businesses.