Employment law provisions of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013


The Enterprise and Regulatory and Reform Act 2013 received Royal Assent on 25 April 2013 and contains a number of employment law related reforms. The following table includes the key changes and when they are currently timetabled for implementation. A number of the key reforms have been covered in previous bulletins from the employment team:

Coming into Force Reform
25 June 2013 The following provisions will come into force:

The qualifying period for unfair dismissal will not apply where the main reason for dismissal is the employee's political opinions or affiliation. Following the decision in Redfearn v United Kingdom [2012] the European Court of Human Rights stated that the UK must protect employees from dismissal on grounds of political opinion or affiliation. A new clause 13 has therefore been inserted into the ERRA to remove the unfair dismissal qualifying period where the reason or principal reason for dismissal "is, or relates to, the employee's political opinions or affiliation". Section 13 will amend section 108 of the ERA 1996 but it will not create a new ground for a discrimination claim. The fairness of the dismissal will still need to be judged in the usual way.

Change in the unfair dismissal compensatory award limit. This will be capped at one year of salary or the maximum compensatory figure which is currently £74,200.
Changes to whistleblowing legislation (see our March bulletin for further details).
Summer 2013 Pre-termination negotiations becoming inadmissible in unfair dismissal proceedings under section 14 of ERRA 2013. (Otherwise known as settlement offers – see our October bulletin for further details) Compromise Agreements will be renamed settlement agreements.
2014 Compulsory Equal Pay Audits for employers who lose an equal pay tribunal claim. The consultation which will consider the details of the new regulations opened on 23 May 2013 and will close on 18 July 2013. The provisions are expected to come into force sometime in 2014.