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Employment law changes in effect

A number of changes to employment rules and regulations came into force with the start of the new financial year on 6 April.

The changes affect many areas of employment law, from employment tribunals and discrimination, to everyday areas such as auto-enrolment and maternity pay.

Key changes:

  • Statutory maternity and paternity pay have increased from £136.78 to £138.18
  • The time period for auto-enrolling workers has increased from 1 month to 6 weeks
  • Employee complaints are now required to submit details to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)
  • Employers will now face fines of up to £5,000 if they lose a case at tribunal.

Employment relations minister, Jenny Willott, said the tribunal changes will help “avoiding stress, time delays and excessive costs”.

David Coulter, director of HR Heroes, urged small and medium-sized businesses to pay attention to the changes:

“These rule changes are taking place in areas that affect companies each day so it’s important employers are aware of them. One of the more significant changes is the fact that aggrieved employees must now enter into a conciliation process with ACAS, which should hopefully reduce the number of formal tribunal claims.”