The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill 2014 Published

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill has been published today. It contains the following…

First, under clause 136, a new system for enforcing tribunal awards: an ‘enforcement officer’ will give a 28-day warning notice if a tribunal award remains unpaid. If the monies are not then paid by the Respondent, a ‘penalty notice’ will be issued. The penalty is 50% of the outstanding amount, subject to a minimum of £100 and a maximum of £5,000. If the full sum, and the penalty, are then paid within 14 days, the penalty is reduced by 50%. The penalty is payable to the Secretary of State, not the Claimant.

Second, details of the ‘outlawing zero hour contracts’, announced earlier today. Clause 139 of the Bill provides a definition of a zero-hour contract, and renders any clause which tries to stop the worker working for somebody else void.

Third, a power to amend the employment tribunal procedural rules to limit the number of postponements available to a party (clause 137), and an obligation on the tribunal to consider making a costs award if the postponement application is a late one (the concept of what a late postponement is will be set in secondary legislation).

Fourth, a power to allow the Treasury to require repayment of some or all of a termination payment in a public sector exit (clauses 140-142). All the details will appear in secondary legislation.

Fifth, under clause 135, a framework requiring prescribed persons under the whistleblowing legislation to publish details of disclosures made to them (this is subject to detailed secondary legislation, not yet published).