Amendments to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

by Laurie Anstis on October 10, 2012

The government has today published a series of amendments (pdf) to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, to be considered in the report stage of the bill, which starts next week.

Amongst the amendments relevant to employment law are provisions:

– permitting deposit orders to be made in respect of “specified allegations or arguments” rather than the claim as a whole (amendment 1),

– abolishing the Equality Act provisions on third party harassment (amendment 5) and questionnaires (amendment 6),

– giving the employment tribunal power (or maybe even an obligation) to order equal pay audits where an employer has been found to be in breach of equal pay law (including sex discrimination claims relating to pay) (amendment 10)

– re-labeling “protected conversations” as “pre-termination negotiations” (amendment 21).

There are also many apparently small amendments that may become more significant on detailed scrutiny. For instance, it looks as though amendment 22 takes away from pre-termination negotiations the rule that a tribunal could take into account a “determination made in any other proceedings”. There is also a change to the clause dealing with the cap on the compensatory award (amendment 24), the significance of which is not immediately clear.

[Thanks to Craig Gordon for alerting me to this.]

One comment

This is a really useful post – wading through all those amendments about heritge partnership agreements would have been a nightmare.

I think I understand Amendment 24 on the Compensatory award. Under the current draft it is possible for the SoS to specify just a multiple of a weeks’ pay as the limit for the award. This must be at least 52 weeks but there is no maximum. Theoretically you could specify a compensatory award of 5 years pay.

Under the amendment there cannot be a limit based just on a multiple of a week’s pay. The multiple can only be specified alongside an overall cap of a specified amount, with the lower of the two prevailing.

So the amendment prevents a future Labour SoS from putting the limit back up again by Regulation. Primary legislation will be needed.

by Darren Newman on 10 October 2012 at 11:17 pm. #