June 2014 Legal Update
The Small Business Enterprise and Employment Bill 2014 has been published. It contains a number of points to note which are detailed below:
· Firstly clause 136 introduces a new system for enforcing Tribunal awards: an “Enforcement Officer” will give a 28 day warning notice if a Tribunal award remains unpaid to a Claimant. If the monies are not then paid by the Respondent a penalty notice will be issued. A penalty notice means that an additional 50% of the outstanding Tribunal award becomes payable although this sum is subject to a minimum of £100.00 and a maximum of £5000.00. If the full sum and the penalty are subsequently paid within 14 days the penalty is then reduced by 50%. The penalty is awarded to the Secretary of State and not the Claimant.
· Clause 139 outlaws exclusivity clauses in zero hour contracts. This means any clause which seeks to prevent an individual from working for another employer (even though no work is guaranteed under the zero hour contract) is void.
· Clause 137 gives a power to the Employment Tribunal to amend the procedural rules to limit the number of postponements available to a party and an obligation on the Tribunal to consider making a costs award if the postponement application is late (the definition of a late postponement will be set out in secondary legislation).
· Clause 135 gives a framework requiring prescribed persons under the whistleblowing legislation to publish details of disclosures made to them (this is subject to detailed secondary legislation which is not yet published)
If you are a Claimant and require assistance as you think a new piece of legislation may be applicable to the details of your case then please get in contact with Michael Lewin Solicitors dedicated employment team on 0113 200 9720.
Author: Ian Abel