Thursday 20 January 2000

Compensation Increases

With thanks to John Bowers QC of Littleton Chambers for providing this information.

Under section 33 of the Employment Relations Act 1999, the Secretary of State is under a duty to increase or decrease various awards as soon as possible after September, in line with any change in the Retail Price Index since the previous September.

This has now been done for the first time. The changes take effect if the 'relevant date' falls on or after 1st February 2000. The 'relevant date' for unfair dismissal claims is the Effective Date of Termination. Other relevant dates (eg for guarantee pay, insolvency rights, unreasonable exclusion from trade union) are set out in the relevant legislation.

The increases are rounded up to the nearest 10p, £10 or £100 depending on the particular limit being increased.

Some of the important changes are:

Unfair Dismissal Basic Award: Limit on a week's pay has increased from £220 to £230.

Redundancy Pay: Limit on a week's pay has increased from £220 to £230.

Guarantee Pay: Limit on a day's pay during short-time or lay-off has increased from £15.35 to £16.10

The maximum compensatory award remains fixed at £50,000.

A full list of the changes can be found in IDS Brief 653 (Jan 2000).


Whistleblowing - The New Law
by John Bowers QC, Jack Mitchell and Jeremy Lewis

This work examines an important area of employment law, discussing the new Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, along with the impact these changes will have on the rights and duties of employees to disclose the wrongdoing.

It contains a full examination of issues regarding confidentiality, copyright, defamation and unfair dismissal. Consideration is given to the role of informants and the obligation of employees to blow the whistle.

Specific examples are used to clearly state the case for the new legislation, including the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster, the 1998 Clapham Rail disaster, the Barings Bank collapse, plus many others involving child abuse, cancer misdiagnosis and genetically modified foods. Throughout, the practical guidance is set in context and illustrated by case law or example to ensure this is a complete solution for all professionals.

(Sweet & Maxwell, January 2000)

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