A number of measures contained in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (ERRA) come into force today (25 June). These include changes to ‘whistleblowing’ provisions, a new exemption from the qualifying period of employment for political opinion dismissals, and the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board.

Measures brought into force on 25 June by the S.103 ERRAcommencement provisions include:

  • S.12: changes to EAT composition
  • S.13: no qualifying period of employment where reason for dismissal is employee’s political opinions or affiliation
  • S.15: power to change maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal – see our news story of 13 June for more on the draft Unfair Dismissal (Variation of the Limit of Compensatory Award) Order 2013
  • S.17: disclosures not protected unless believed to be made in public interest
  • S.18: power to reduce compensation where protected disclosure not made in good faith
  • S.20: extension of meaning of ‘worker’ for protected disclosure claims
  • S.21: changes to deposit and costs orders
  • S.22: changes to timing and rounding of annual adjustment of statutory limits
  • S.64: changes to Equality and Human Rights Commission, and
  • S.97: amends S.9(5) of Equality Act 2010 to compel, rather than permit, the Government to include ‘caste’ within definition of protected characteristic of ‘race’. 

Also coming into force today by virtue of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (Commencement No.1, Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2013 SI 2013/1455 are:

  • S.19, which protects workers who have made a protected disclosure from detriment by a co-worker or agent of the employer, and
  • S.72(1), which abolishes the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) for England and Wales and makes consequential repeals and revocations relating to the establishment and structure of the AWB and the setting of wages and other terms and conditions of workers employed in agriculture under the Agricultural Wages Act 1948. Note, however, that the current Agricultural Wages (England and Wales) Order 2012, which sets out the applicable agricultural minimum wage as well as the minimum basic and overtime rates and other terms and conditions that apply specifically to agricultural workers, will remain in force until October 2013.