The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill 2014 published

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Another Bill has been published and is currently working its way through Parliament which will implement a number of employment law changes if it is passed in its current draft form.

Firstly, in a bid to curtail the number of unsatisfied Employment Tribunal awards the Government if proposing to introduce enforcement officers to give notices where a tribunal award is unpaid after the deadline. This gives the employer 28 days to pay. If they still do not pay a Penalty Notice will be issued for 50% of the award subject to a minimum of £100 and a maximum of £5,000. If the sum and the penalty are paid within 14 days the penalty is reduced by 50%. This is different to the financial penalties provisions already in place but similar in so far as this penalty also goes to the Secretary of State and just the award plus any interest to the employee.

The Bill also provides the power to amend the Employment Tribunal Procedures to limit the number of postponements a party can request in a case and an obligation on the Tribunal to consider a costs application where the postponement is made late. The Bill also contains provisions to outlaw exclusivity clauses in employment contracts, to make prescribed persons in whistle blowing cases to publish details of the disclosures made to them and provisions to enable the Government to claw back some of the termination payments made in public sector exits in certain circumstances.

Written by
Edward Aston
5th August 2014