2013 has been a busy year for employment lawyers as the government introduces a raft of changes to both employment law and employment tribunal procedure. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which contains a number of important changes to employment law, came into effect on the 25th of this month and will be known as the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 and the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure 2013 will come into force in full from 29 July 2013.
From 25 June 2013 a new exception to the requirement to have two years' service in order to claim unfair dismissal will come into force. This exception is where the reason for the person's dismissal is because of his/her political opinions of affiliations.
This change arises out of a decision from the European Court of Justice last year and which we comment on further below.
Also from the 25 June 2013 the employment regulations protecting whistle blowers will change.The regulations will now make employers liable for the action of employee's who victimise a whistle blower, unless the employer can show they took all reasonably practicable steps to prevent such conduct. Ensuring that your business has in place a suitable Whistle Blowing policy and that managers have received training on handling instances of whistle blowing will be the bare minimum steps required.
Employees will also no longer have to show that the disclosure was made in good faith in order to be protected by the legislation. They will, however, have to establish that the disclosure was a matter of public interest.
By James Murphy
If you don't have Microsoft Office, or Microsoft Word installed on your PC or Mac, don't worry - you can still use our products. You can get a free alternative from Open Office.
Open Office Org is open-source developed alternative to Microsoft Office, developed by a large software company called Oracle. Open Source means the company who build the software, allow 100% use of it, 100% free.
Since Open Office is specifically developed to be exactly the same as Microsoft Office, with all the same programs in the suite (Eg: Word, Excel, Access and Power Point) - it will freely open any Microsoft Office file-format. Meaning, just because a document was written in Microsoft Word, doesn't mean it can't be opened in another program. Open Office will do that, and vise versa.
To download and install Open Office;