July 02, 2012 10:29
| Local Business
As pretty much any employee in your company will tell you, regulations change on a regular basis. It can be a bit of an effort to keep on top of all the latest rules and changes that you need to be aware of, especially when you’re so busy trying to run all the other aspects of your business at the same time. However, we all know that keeping on top of updated regulations is important, or else you could find yourself in a spot of bother thanks to accidental mistakes.
So, to make sure you’re up to date with the latest round of regulation updates, let’s take a look at some of the new changes
that have come into force since 6 April 2012.
Unfair dismissal is one of the big regulatory changes you need to be aware of. In many ways, the rules surrounding unfair dismissal haven’t changed. This means that certain types of dismissal will always be considered unfair, such as if they are discriminatory. For example, if an employee is dismissed due to issues such as gender, pregnancy, race or religion (this list is not exhaustive) then it will be unfair no matter how long they have worked for you.
However, one of the changes is that for any employees who start to work for a business after 6 April 2012, they will have to put in two years’ continuous service before they are able to make an unfair dismissal claim. This is up from the previous limit of one year’s service, although the one year limit before being able to make a claim still applies for employees who started working with a firm before 6 April 2012.
As well as the continuous service requirement for new employees rising to two years, they now also need to have worked for a firm for at least two years before they are able to ask for a written statement of the reasons for their dismissal. Again, this is a rise on the one year limit that was in place before, although the one year service rule is still in place for employees who joined the company prior to 6 April 2012.
Another important recent regulation change that all companies need to be aware of is the change that has been made to employment tribunal costs. It used to be that an employment tribunal could order a party to pay up to £500 as one of the conditions for continuing with their claim. However, employment tribunals can now ask them to pay up to £1000 to continue with a claim. As well as the increase in this payment, employment tribunals can now also award a greater amount of costs. Now, rather than being able to order up to £10,000 in awarded costs, the limit is £20,000.
There are also changes to RIDDOR to be considered. For those not in the know, RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. If someone is injured at work and that injury means that they are incapacitated for more than seven days, it needs to be reported to the relevant authority. This could be the local authority or the health and safety executive, and it makes a change from the previous requirement that compelled incidents to be reported if someone was incapacitated for more than three days. A report will need to be submitted no later than fifteen days after the accident.
It is really important that businesses make sure they are following these new regulations and so it is wise to update any relevant policies to ensure that your firm is compliant. You might also like to check issues such as your payroll software to make sure it has been updated to deal with the changes in regulation. If you have used a reputable payroll software provider such as Sage
, ADP, or Iris
, you should find that it automatically updates to take account of relevant new regulations, but it makes sense to check in case you need to make any manual updates.
Complying with regulations can sometimes be time consuming for businesses, but it is certainly much easier to take the time now to make the necessary checks and any required changes, or else it could become more complicated later in the event that you need to utilise one of the regulations. Overall, as long as you update your systems as necessary and check regularly for any further regulation changes, it should be fairly easy for your firm to keep abreast of the regulations you are required by law to comply with.