Changes to Employment Law in 2014

Flexible Working

The right to request flexible working is expected to be extended to all employees in Spring 2014.
Employees will be able to request changes to:

  • The hours they work
  • The times they work
  • The place they are required to work

Employers will require to consider all requests, however, will still be able to refuse requests in certain circumstances. At present there are a number of grounds on which an employer can turn down a request. They are:

  • The burden of additional costs
  • A detrimental effect on the ability to meet customer demand
  • An inability to reorganise work among existing staff
  • An inability to recruit additional staff
  • A detrimental impact on quality
  • A detrimental impact on performance
  • Insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposed to work
  • Planned structural changes
  • Any other ground the Secretary of State may specify by the regulations.

TUPE

In January 2014, it is planned that changes to TUPE 2006 will come into force.
The proposed changes are:

  • To allow renegotiation of the terms agreed in a collective agreement one year after the transfer, provided that the change is no less favourable to employees overall.
  • To allow businesses with fewer than 10 employees to consult directly with employees where there is no pre-existing employee representative body.
  • To amend the definition of ‘activities’ for the purposes of a service provision change so as to reflect the existing case law. The service provision must have been ‘fundamentally or essentially the same’ before and after the transfer.

ACAS

It is expected that in April 2014 the government will introduce ACAS early reconciliation. This means that anyone thinking of making an Employment Tribunal claim will be required to contact ACAS to reconcile the problem in the first instance, where previously they may have gone straight to the employment tribunal.

Sickness Absence Management

There is to be a new Health & Work Advisory and Assessment Service to facilitate state funded occupational health assessments for employees who have been off sick for four weeks or more. This appears to recognise the importance of obtaining occupational health reports when employees are on long term sick leave.

Contact us for more information

Please do contact a member of the team at Gravitate HR on 0131 225 7458 if you would like any further information.

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