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New Employment Laws 2013 to affect both employers and employees

The government has published the Fifth Statement of New Regulation, which sets out key dates for new employment legislation to come in to force from the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill 2012 - 2013.

The government introduced a "One-in, one-out rule in April 2011 which was welcomed by businesses. To date business costs have already been reduced by £1 billion due to this. The rule essentially meant that for each new regulation that came in and would cost a business a certain amount, this would be offset by an equivalent amount in a deregulatory measure. The government now intends to introduce a "One-in, two-out rule in January 2013. The government predict that by July 2013, the total savings for business will be £919 million.

Key new employment legislation to come in;

¢ February 2013 - Amend the formulae for uprating redundancy payments and tribunal limits. Currently, adjustments are rounded up to the nearest £10, which is sometimes well above the rate of inflation. This will now be amended to be rounded up to the nearest £1.

¢ March 2013 - Parental Leave. This will be increased from 13 weeks for each parent to 18 weeks in respect of each child, and will extend the right to request flexible leave to employed agency worked on return from parental leave.

¢ March 2013 - Third Party Harassment. The liability of an employer for third party harassment will be removed.

¢ April 2013 - Collective redundancy consultation. The 90 day consultation requirement for redundancies involving 100 or more employees is to be reduced to 45 days.

¢ April 2013 - Whistleblowing. The government intends to amend the Employment Rights Act 1996, so that workers cannot bring a whistleblowing claim relating to their own breach of contract that is not in the public interest.

¢ April 2013 - Strict Liability. Employer's strict liability for injuries to employees in the workplace is to be removed.

¢ Spring 3012 - Criminal records check. The CRB (Criminal records bureau) and ISA (Independent Safeguards Authority) were merged into one in December 2012. They are now known as the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service). A portable DBS check which employers can instantly view online will be introduced in Spring 2013.

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