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Employment law news bulletin

April 2014 saw the introduction of a multitude of new employment regulations. inpractice rounds up the latest legislation that may be applicable to your practice.

  • The weekly rate for statutory sick pay will increase to £87.55. Weekly statutory maternity, adoption and paternity pay will also increase to £138.18.
  • Financial penalties will be introduced for employers who are found to have breached employment legislation where there are aggravating features present. The penalty will be payable to the Exchequer (department of government responsible for the management and collection of taxation and other government revenues), in addition to the award and the fee reimbursement to the claimant. A minimum of £100 and a maximum of £5000 will be payable, and these will be applied to tribunal decisions for claims that are brought on or after 6 April 2014.
  • The maximum unfair dismissal compensation award has increased to £76,574 (subject to a cap of 52 weeks' pay).
  • The maximum week's pay for statutory redundancy pay purposes has increased to £464.
  • An 'early conciliation' process has been implemented by the government to make prospective employee claimants inform Acas of their intention to claim against their employer. This is so that Acas can attempt to conciliate before making a claim. Claims will no longer be sent directly to the tribunal service.
  • The statutory discrimination questionnaire will be repealed and replaced with a more informal approach for employees who would like to pose questions to their employer about alleged discrimination.

CQC announces its proposals for inspections

CQC is planning to roll out full inspections using the new inspection methodology from October 2014.

The new inspection methodology will be based on fundamental standards that will be common to all sectors, but CQC is adapting the methodology so that inspections are tailored more closely to the sector they are used in. Pilots using the new methodology in primary care started in April 2013. CQC aims to use the experience from the pilots to shape the final inspection methodology that will be developed over the summer.

The first wave of inspections using the new methodology will start in primary care in October to December 2014. A second wave of inspections will then follow in January to March 2015 with the aim of having all primary care practices inspected by 2016. 

From October 2014, new regulations should also be in place to give CQC powers to require a duty of candour from all the providers it inspects, including in general practice. This means practices will be required to ensure that patients are told when something has gone wrong and to prove to CQC that this has been done. The new statutory duty will be in addition to the ethical duty of candour that already exists for doctors.

CQC is producing handbooks to help each sector understand how it will regulate and inspect them.

For more information, visit the CQC website.

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This page was correct at publication on . Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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