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What does 2012 have in store for UK Employment Law?

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2012 looks like it will be a busy year in UK Employment Law as the Government seeks to implement the changes announced at the end of last year. These, together with several other key matters, suggests that 2012 will be a year for ringing the changes.

I have cited the most notable developments by month below


  • An increase in the maximum Compensatory award for unfair dismissal from £68,400 to £72,300
  • An increase in the maximum amount of a week’s pay (used to calculate statutory redundancy payments and the basic and additional awards for unfair dismissal) from £400 to £430
  • An increase in the amount of a guarantee payment payable to an employee in respect of any day, from £22.50 to £23.50


  • As of 8th March parental leave increases from three to four months, pursuant to the Parental Leave Directive (2010/18/EC) repealing the Parental Leave Directive (96/34/EC).


  • It is expected that 2 years will become the new qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims
  • Various changes are expected to be set in motion in relation to tribunal procedures including increasing deposit orders and costs awards, Employment judges to sit alone in unfair dismissal cases and witness
    statements no longer to be read aloud but taken “as read” unless ordered otherwise by the tribunal
  • Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will increase from £128.37 to £135.45 per week
  • SSP will increase from £81.60 to £85.85 per week


It is also a possibility that the following changes will take place in 2012 but at this moment in time no deadline for implementation has been agreed:-

  • All claims to be submitted to ACAS for pre-conciliation before a claim can be issued in an Employment Tribunal
  • Introducing the concept of “Protected Conversations”, which would allow employers to raise workplace issues with employees “in an open way, free from the worry it will be used in evidence in… tribunal”.
  • Imposing financial penalties on employers who breach employees’ employment rights. The penalty will relate to the size of the award granted by the tribunal with a minimum penalty of £100 and maximum £5,000. The money would be payable to the Exchequer

Written by
Edward Aston