Important HR Changes and Updates for 2012
January 11, 2012 by Angela Rhodes

Several consultations were launched during 2011, the outcomes of which may affect legislation in 2012 and beyond.

These included:

  • An updated system of flexible parental leave due for implementation in 2015

  • Extending rights to flexible working – response expected early 2012

  • Changes to Working Time Regulations with regard to annual leave

The Government also announced a “radical” reform of employment legislation in November following consultation on employment disputes and the results of the Red Tape Challenge review. Further consultations and legislative changes are anticipated in 2012 including:

  • Qualifying period for gaining employment protection rights from unfair dismissal from one year to two years – expected implementation from 6th April 2012

  • “Protected Conversations” to enable employers to discuss issues with employees without risk of subsequently being quoted in a tribunal hearing – consultation announcement awaited.

  • Compensated “no-fault” dismissal for businesses with less than 10 employees

  • Reform of Employment Tribunal system to include early conciliation, process reform, introduction of fees for claimants and discretionary fines on employers who lose cases.

  • “Call for Evidence” documents issued on collective redundancy rules and the effectiveness of the TUPE regulations.

2012 Implementation Calendar

1st February

Increased limits on employment tribunal awards:

  • A week’s pay will increase from £400 to £430
  • Maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from
    £68,400 to £72,300
  • Guarantee pay will increase from £22.20 to £23.50 per day.

1st April

  • Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) to increase from £128.73 to £135.45 per week.
  • Weekly earnings threshold for SMP, SPP and SAP payments will increase from £102 to £107.

6th April

  • Qualifying period for gaining employment protection rights against unfair dismissal expected to increase from one year to two years.
  • Changes to employment tribunal procedures expected to come into force.
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will increase from £81.60 to £85.85 per week.

5th June

  • An additional bank holiday on Tuesday, 5th June to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with the late May bank holiday being moved to Monday, 4th June to create a long weekend.

1st October

  • National minimum wage rates are likely to increase although no figures have yet been published.
  • Pensions auto-enrolment begins for larger employers who will have to enrol eligible employees automatically, and make mandatory employer contributions, into a qualifying workplace pension scheme or the National Employment Savings Trust (Nest).


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