Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Unfair Dismissal (Variation of the Limit of Compensatory Award) Order 2013

This is the order which is imposing a dual cap on compensatory awards for unfair dismissal - as well as the global cap of £74,200, each individual faces a cap equivalent to their own annual salary. So with the exception of a few people I sit across tables from, and fewer who sit at top tables, everyone I know faces a lower cap.

The Government have introduced this new lower limit only out of kindness of course. The Minister, Jo Swinson explained to MPs; "the limit, which now stands at £74,200, has moved far in excess of the average award, which has been around £5,000 for the past seven years. The Government take the view that the disparity has created unrealistic perceptions about the likely level of award that can be expected at tribunal. " (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmgeneral/deleg5/130709/130709s01.htm).

How kind of them to save us all from unrealistic perceptions! If only that was all they had been doing with our employment rights.

Labour MP Ian Murray (Edinburgh South) summed it up well; "Statutory instruments in the past 18 months have moved the qualification period from one year to two years, and collective redundancy has been moved from 90 days to 45 days. We have also had the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which spawned the order. Settlement agreements, ACAS early conciliation and the introduction of fees have all been put in place. Someone now has to go around that whole system, managing to navigate the protected and without prejudice conversations and the conciliation service at ACAS, and be able to afford the £1,250 to get into the employment tribunal system, but, even when justice is being delivered, people are unable to claim the compensation that they might deserve, because the draft statutory instrument we are considering restricts it to a year's salary or £74,200. "

Just at the point at which more and more workers have need of our employment rights, the Government is undermining them. These attacks demand a political and an industrial response.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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