After all the hype, it's finally arrived. The Employment Bill was introduced in the House of Lords last week. Key provisions are:
- abolition of statutory dismissal and grievance procedures (clauses 1-2)
- tribunals have a discretion to increase awards by up to 25% if an employer unreasonably fails to comply with a Code of Practice (clause 3)
- extending Acas's powers of conciliation and removing the fixed conciliation periods (clauses 5-6)
- doing a few other dull things to do with the minimum wage, employment agencies and miscellaneous sweep-up matters
The repeal of s98A of the Employment Rights Act 1996 means that Polkey will be back in full force - brooding and masterful as ever.
The commencement date is whenever the Secretary of State decides. I've heard a rumour it's likely to be Spring 2009 (but don't quote me!).
[Thanks to Michael Duggan of Littleton Chambers for telling me the Bill had been published]