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Changes to employment law

Motor industry employers will no longer be liable to pay out up to 50% increased compensation rates for failing to use correct work disciplinary procedures in a dismissal case.

After April 6 this mandatory uplift will no longer apply as the current employment law regarding disciplinary and grievance procedures is repealed.

Instead employment tribunals will now be able to increase or reduce awards by up to 25% where either the employer or the employee unreasonably fails to comply with the new code.
The code, which has been put together by the Arbitration and Conciliation Service (ACAS), is not compulsory.

However, it will act as a guideline for employment tribunals which could increase compensation by 25% for those who it thinks have not complied with the code.

Sarah Turner, personnel manager at dealer group Dick Lovett, said the changes would not affect the business procedures much but presented a good opportunity to look at the clarity of processes.

“In the old scheme, if we failed to do something correctly in the procedure, it was automatically unfair,” Turner said.

However, now that employees can also be penalised for not following procedures, they should reasonably follow the same code as companies which will create a fairer platform, she added.

“There will be less emphasis on processes and more on acting with fairness and reasonableness which is definitely a good thing,” she said.

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