- At Kemp Little, we are known for our ability to serve the very particular needs of a large but diverse technology client base. Our hands-on industry know-how makes us a good fit with many of the world's biggest technology and digital media businesses, yet means we are equally relevant to companies with a technology bias, in sectors such as professional services, financial services, retail, travel and healthcare.
- Kemp Little specialises in the technology and digital media sectors and provides a range of legal services that are crucial to fast-moving, innovative businesses.Our blend of sector awareness, technical excellence and responsiveness, means we are regularly ranked as a leading firm by directories such as Legal 500, Chambers and PLC Which Lawyer. Our practice areas cover a wide range of legal issues and advice.
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- Kemp Little is trusted by some of the worlds leading luxury brands and some of the most innovative e-commerce retailers changing the face of the industry.
- HR Bytes is an exclusive, comprehensive, online service that will provide you with a wide range of practical, insightful and current employment law information. HR Bytes members get priority booking for events, key insight and a range of employment materials for free.
- FlightDeck is our portal designed especially with start-up and emerging technology businesses in mind to help you get your business up and running in the right way. We provide a free pack of all the things no-one tells you and things they dont give away to get you started.
What's happening in employment law?
We’ve summarised below the key changes to employment law in 2013 and beyond. If you’d like to discuss how these changes will affect your business, please contact one of the Employment team.
8 March 2013
Increased parental leave
Increased entitlement to parental leave from 13 to 18 weeks in total.
6 April 2013
Collective redundancy consultation
The period of collective redundancy consultation has been reduced from 90 days to 45 days for redundancies involving 100+ employees. The expiry of a fixed term contract has been excluded from the circumstances which trigger collective consultation (although early termination of a fixed term will still do so).
25 June 2013
Dismissal on the grounds of political opinion/affiliation
The two year-qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims will not apply where the alleged reason for a dismissal is, or relates to, an employee's political opinions or affiliations.
It will be unlawful to discriminate against an individual by reason of their caste.
Public interest disclosures will no longer need to be made in good faith but must be made in the “public interest” in the reasonable opinion of the worker who blows the whistle.
29 July 2013
Fees for bringing claims in the Employment Tribunal
Claimants will have to pay a fee both on issue of the claim and before the hearing. Simple claims such as unlawful deductions from wages will attract a fee of £160 for issue and £230 for the hearing (unless the claimant applies for remission on the grounds of inability to pay). More complex claims such as unfair dismissal and discrimination will attract fees of £250 for issue and £950 for the hearing. If the claimant doesn’t send in the issue fee or an application for remission, the claim will be rejected. If the claimant fails to pay the hearing fee, the claim can be dismissed. There is no repayment if the claim settles.
Cap on unfair dismissal compensation
Compensation for unfair dismissal claims will be limited to the lower of (a) one year’s gross pay and (b) the current limit of £74,200.
Compromise agreements will be re-named "settlement agreements".
Employers will be able to negotiate a settlement prior to termination of employment, irrespective of whether there is an existing dispute, and such negotiations will not be admissible as evidence in unfair dismissal claims in certain circumstances.
Amendments to the Tribunal rules
(a) Removal of default judgements for late ET3s
Respondents who fail to lodge their ET3s in time won’t automatically have a default judgement issued against them – respondents can apply for an extension of time (although this will only be granted in very limited circumstances).
(b) Strike out of claims lacking merit
A new informal “sift” procedure will be introduced, under which a tribunal claim or response can be struck out at an early stage in proceedings if there is no reasonable prospect of success.
(c) Automatic dismissal of withdrawn claims
When claims are withdrawn, they will automatically be dismissed by the Tribunal unless the claimant reserves the right to bring further claims.
(d) Time limits for a more efficient hearing
The Tribunal can impose time limits for giving evidence, questioning witnesses and making submissions during the hearing.
1 September 2013
The much-maligned concept of "employee shareholders" (who give up certain employment rights in return for shares in the business) will be introduced.
Changes to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”) will start to come into force (although the repeal of the “Service Provision Change” test is not expected to come into force until 2014), including provisions to make it easier to change terms and conditions of employment and make redundancies in connection with the transfer.
Mandatory pre-claim conciliation via ACAS
Before submitting certain types of Tribunal claim, a prospective claimant would need to send ACAS certain information about their claim and the ACAS officer responsible for the case would have a duty to try to promote settlement within a prescribed period. If settlement is not reached within this period, the ACAS officer will issue a certificate to confirm this. The claimant may not submit a claim to the employment tribunal without this certificate. The time limit for bringing a claim will be extended if it expires during the prescribed period.
Financial penalties for employers who lose employment tribunal claims
Employers who lose an employment tribunal case could be required to pay a financial penalty of up to £5,000 to the Secretary of State, if the breach has "one or more aggravating features".
Right to request flexible working
The right to request flexible working will be extended to all employees with at least 26 weeks' continuous employment.
Repeal of the “Service Provision Change” test, meaning that the law will revert to the original “multi-factoral” test of whether there is a “transfer of an economic undertaking which retains its identity following the transfer”.
Shared parental leave
Enables parents to share up to 50 weeks’ leave and up to 37 week’s statutory “maternity” pay between them following the birth or adoption of a child. Leave can be taken in one week blocks or longer periods, can be interspersed with periods of work and parents can take leave at the same time.