Important recruitment law dates for 2012

2011 was an eventful year to say the least, what with the implementation of the AWR and ongoing efforts to limit their impact. The Coalition Government decided that IR35 would not be abolished, much to the disappointment of optimistic freelancers and the Red Tape Challenge opened up a dialogue between business and Government, the outcomes of which will continue to make themselves known in the coming year.

So what legal developments and changes can be expected in 2012? Giving the recruitment community a ‘heads up’, AgencyZone has put together a list of important diary dates. Also included are networking meetings organised by the Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC), which members and non-members may find useful this year.   

January 18th
Lawspeed begins a series of tutorial webinars on the AWR, prepared for members of ARC

January 31st
–Deadline for responses to the Government’s call for evidence on the effectiveness of TUPE. It is thought that this may lead to a consultation later in the year, although no dates have yet been set. Find out how to submit your evidence here:
–Public sector bodies (except schools) with more than 150 employees publish data on equality in their workforces from this date

February 1st

Employment tribunal award limits increase: the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increases from £68,400 to £72,300 and the maximum amount of ‘a week’s pay’ for calculating compensation for unfair dismissal and redundancy pay increases from £400 to £430

February 14th-15th
Recruitment Agency Expo – ARC will be exhibiting and speaking

February 28th
ARC networking meeting – Institute of Directors, Pall Mall, London
Topics and speakers:
– Fees in employment tribunals – spokesman from the Employment Tribunal Service/BIS
– The IOD’s take on the employment future
– The state of the economy – the outlook – an economist
– TUPE – service provision changes – a TUPE expert

March 6th
Closing date for the consultation on charging fees in employment tribunals

March 8th
Parental leave increases from 3 to 4 months

March 25th
ARC Networking meeting – London Chamber of Commerce or other
– How to use social media in recruitment
– Social media – difficulties
– Cloud computing – is it the future?
– General Legal Update

April 1st
Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increases from £128.73 to £135.45 per week

April 6th

–The qualifying period for unfair dismissal increases to 2 years
–Statutory sick pay increases from £81.60 to £85.85 per week
–Schools with more than 150 employees publish data on equality in their workforces from this date
–Various changes to employment tribunal procedures

May 23rd
ARC Networking Meeting – London
Topics and speakers:
– Employment Law update – government representative and ACAS
– Pensions update – government spokesman
– Diversity within search and selection and permanent placements

June 4th

Late May bank holiday moves to the 4th June to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee

June 5th

Extra bank holiday to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee

October 1st
–Pensions auto-enrolment begins for larger employers (
–National minimum wage increases, subject to recommendations of the Low Pay Commission

October 17th

ARC Networking Meeting
– Economy and legislative changes
– Dealing with RPOs

Developments likely to occur in 2012, but with dates TBC:
•    Introduction of a new vetting and barring scheme for individuals working with children and vulnerable persons
•    The Government’s Access to Work scheme is set to be reformed so that funding will be available where job applicants are disabled people, for adaptations or equipment that will assist them to perform the role
•    All employment tribunal claims referred to ACAS
•    Possible consultation on the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003
•    Introduction of financial penalties of between £100 and £5000 for employers that breach employment rights
•    Consultation on ‘protected conversations’, which will allow employers and staff to discuss employment issues without risk of dispute.
•    Consultation on rapid resolution scheme as an alternative to tribunal for low-value and straightforward disputes
•    Possible simplification of dismissal process

A complete list of ARC events 2012 can be viewed here.