Section 34 of the Employment Relations Act 1999 provides for changes to employment law payments and awards in Great Britain under two Acts: The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and The Employment Rights Act 1996

Section 34 of the 1999 Act provides for an increase or decrease in the following statutory limits each year according to the year-on-year change in the Retail Price Index (RPI) at the previous September.

On 22 February 2019, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) laid the Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2019 that reflects the increase in the RPI of 3.3% from September 2017 to September 2018.  These are effective from the ‘appropriate date’ of 06 April 2019 which reflects, in turn, the implementation date for these statutory changes as per the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.

This appropriate date is important and varies depending on the circumstances that give rise to the need for payment at the new rates (see regulation 4 of the above 2019 Order).  For example, in a redundancy situation, the new statutory minimum payment of £525.00 per week applies where the date of the redundancy is on or after 06 April 2019.

Headline notes:
  • The daily amount of guarantee payment increases from £28 to £29
  • The value of ‘a week’s pay’ increases from £508 to £525 per week
  • The maximum compensatory award in unfair dismissal claims increases to £86,444 or one year’s net salary, whichever is the lower. This unfair dismissal cap has been in place since 29 July 2013
  • These do not apply in Northern Ireland where employment law is a devolved responsibility and different rates apply. At the time of writing, these are not known and I await information from the relevant department on these.  As it is, the Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) (No.2) Order (Northern Ireland) 2018 continues to apply
Changes
Statutory Provision Effective: 06 April 2018 06 April 2019
Award for unlawful inducement relating to union membership or activities, or to collective bargaining (1992 Act) £4,059 £4,193
Minimum basic award for unfair dismissal or selection for redundancy on grounds related to union membership or activities (1992 Act) £6,203 £6,408
Minimum compensation awarded for exclusion or expulsion from a trade union (1992 Act) £9,474 £9,787
Limit on daily amount of guarantee payment (1996 Act) £28 £29
Minimum amount of basic award of compensation where dismissal is unfair by virtue of sections 100(1)(a) and (b), 101A(d), 102(1) or 103 (1996 Act) £6,203 £6,408
Limit on amount of compensatory award for unfair dismissal (1996 Act) £83,682 £86,444
Maximum weekly amount paid from National Insurance Fund to pay contractual debts owed on the insolvency of the employer (1996 Act) £508 £525
Maximum weekly amount of a basic or additional award of compensation for unfair dismissal or redundancy payment (1996 Act) £508 £525

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