The Global Pound Conference (GPC) Series is a unique and ambitious initiative to inform how civil and commercial disputes are resolved in the 21st century, collating views from over 4000 people at 28 conferences spanning 24 countries worldwide. Herbert Smith Freehills teamed up with PwC, IMI (International Mediation Institute) to identify key insights emerging from the extensive voting data, summarised in the ground-breaking Global Pound Conference report. The report identifies a strong preference amongst potential litigants for a flexible dispute resolution approach and a focus on collaboration over representation, with in-house counsel being the most likely agents of change. These themes certainly chime with a recent but growing interest in ADR in the employment sphere: the desire for efficiency in time and cost is acute, given the low value of many employment claims, and the potential for confidential resolution and in some cases a desire to preserve a valued individual relationship makes ADR an obvious option.
In the article here, the Herbert Smith Freehills employment team consider the relevance of the GPC data in the context of employment disputes in the key jurisdictions of Australia, France, Germany, Spain and the UK. We discuss the availability – and pros and cons – of various ADR methods for employment issues in those jurisdictions. One of our London partners, Peter Frost, and Paul Goulding QC of Blackstone Chambers co-chaired various reports on this issue by the Employment Lawyers Association’s Arbitration and ADR Group, and the article also reflects on those findings. Continue reading
A number of recent EAT rulings suggest that technical arguments over compliance with the early conciliation rules for tribunal claims may be given short shrift.
Employers should bear in mind the following changes which apply from 6 April 2014 (click on the links for summaries of the changes in previous ebulletins): Continue reading
Commencement orders have confirmed that the mandatory period for Acas early conciliation of potential tribunal claims will apply to claims lodged from 6 May 2014, with transitional provisions covering the period from 6 April to 5 May. Claimants can choose to contact Acas for early conciliation from 6 April and, if they do so, must obtain an Acas early conciliation certificate that the process has finished before lodging their claim (in the same way as for post 5 May claims). Continue reading
The Government has confirmed that the change to the cap on the unfair dismissal award will apply from 29 July 2013 (subject to parliamentary apprioval for the draft statutory instrument). The maximum compensatory award which a tribunal will be able to award will be the lower of the cap set annually (currently £74,000) and 12 months' pay.
The Government has also published its response to consultation over how Acas early conciliation will work, and a call for evidence on the framework of whistleblowing laws. Further details can be found here.
The Government has published revised timings for some of the employment law changes in the pipeline, available here. It appears that restricting changes to the April/October schedule has been abandoned for the time being. Continue reading
The Government has proposed, and the House of Lords approved, a number of amendments to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill:
The Government yesterday published two new consultations on proposed reforms to employment law.
The first includes very significant proposed changes to TUPE in response to the 'call for evidence' last year: Continue reading
A number of Government proposals announced in recent months (see here) – and one new proposal – have made their way into this month's Queen's Speech and associated Bills.
The draft Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill includes the following: