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2013 to introduce key employment law changes

The forthcoming year will see the introduction of a number of changes to employment law, including the regulations governing employment tribunals, flexible working and redundancy rights, payroll requirements and the new employee share ownership scheme.

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill will introduce changes to the employment tribunal system, which include allowing employers to have ‘protected conversations’ with employees with the aim of implementing a settlement agreement.

Other changes coming into force include an increase in the unpaid parental leave entitlement, which will rise from 13 to 18 weeks in March 2013, together with a cut in the current 90-day consultation period for redundancies involving 100 or more employees, to 45 days, in April 2013.

April will also see the introduction of HMRC’s new Real Time Information (RTI) scheme, which requires employers to report payroll deductions when or before they are made.

Legislation will also be introduced from April, to exempt gains on up to £50,000 from capital gains tax, for shares acquired under the new employee shareholder scheme. Employees will receive the shares in return for waiving certain employment rights.

Meanwhile, summer 2013 will see the introduction of fees for issuing an employment tribunal claim, together with additional fees if the claim reaches a hearing.