Labour Research April 2016

Law Matters

Law round-up

• From 6 April 2016, a “week’s pay” for calculating the unfair dismissal basic award and statutory redundancy payment is a maximum of £479 instead of £475, and the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal is £78,962 instead of £78,335.

• The government’s “National Living Wage” for workers aged 25 and over (£7.20 per hour) came into effect on 1 April 2016.

• Regulations obliging public sector workers to repay exit payments in certain circumstances are expected (Repayment of Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2016). 

• Legislation giving Tribunals the power to fine employers who fail to pay employment tribunal awards is expected (Section 150 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015).

• The Trade Union Bill recently went through the House of Lords report stage (see page 4). A third reading follows. The Bill then goes back to the Commons for consideration of amendments. A process of “ping pong”, where the Bill goes back and forth between Houses, may take place to reach agreement. 

Once agreement is reached, the Bill becomes law on receiving Royal Assent. This could happen within minutes of agreement as Royal Assent is a mere formality. Only in limited circumstances can the Commons pass a Bill without Lords consent. It is difficult to predict exactly when the Bill will become law, but the government has pressed ahead at lightning speed and is likely to continue this way unless resisted by the Lords.