Employers are reminded that several important changes to employment law were introduced on 29 July 2013.
Compromise agreements have been renamed ‘settlement agreements’ and new provisions (Section 111A) have been inserted into the Employment Rights Act 1996 making settlement agreement discussions inadmissible as evidence in ordinary unfair dismissal cases so that offers to end the employment relationship on agreed terms can now be made on a confidential basis. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service has produced a statutory Code of Practice, ‘Settlement Agreements under Section 111A of the Employment Rights Act 1996’.
Other measures now in force are:
the introduction of fees for bringing Employment Tribunal (ET) claims –
a 12 months’ pay cap on the unfair dismissal compensatory award where this amount is less than the statutory maximum or overall cap. Where the employee’s annual salary exceeds the limit (currently £74,200) the statutory maximum will still apply.