Increase of limits on tribunal compensatory awards
Increased compensation limits will apply to cases where the effective date of termination is on or after 6 April 2016. In particular, the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal has increased to £78,962, and the maximum limit on a week’s pay £for the purposes of calculating the basic award has increased to £479. Note that the increase in the limit on a week’s pay also applies to the calculation of statutory redundancy payments.
It is becoming increasingly clear: from conveyancing to commercial law, technology is revolutionising the legal sector. But is this good news and what, precisely, does it mean for the solicitors and lawyers working across the United Kingdom, and, of course, their clients?
According to Deloitte, more than 100,000 legal sector jobs are expected to become automated over the next two decades, meaning that although clients can expect some innovation in technologically sound legal solutions – including artificial intelligence and robotics – the solicitors accustomed to providing services on a human level could be forgiven for feeling nervous about the future of their jobs.
The March 2016 Budget
George Osbourne presented his latest budget last Wednesday and whilst most of the media coverage focussed on proposals to cut welfare benefits, the budget contained a number of changes and proposals relating to employment law.
• Draft legislation has already been published for the introduction in April 2017 of an apprenticeship levy whereby a contribution equating to 0.5% of total payroll will be collected from larger employers to fund a system of digital vouchers available to all employers to pay for the cost of apprenticeships (see below for more detail). It was announced last Wednesday that employers who have to pay the apprenticeship levy will receive a top up payment from the Government equating to 10% of their monthly levy contribution which they can use to fund apprenticeships.
Financial technology, or what we now know by the name FinTech, has had an enormous and profound impact on clients of the economic industry. Where there was once a large degree of scepticism regarding whether FinTech was simply a way to cut the financial cost of human interactions, there is an acceptance – on both sides of the fence; client and financial adviser – that FinTech has made things easier and more efficient. In fact it has been largely beneficial to consumers, ensuring that the market has been opened up to innovators, who, through the intelligent use of technology, have been able, to some degree, to level the playing field with the established operators, really helping clients find the products and services that work for them.
So, what of Legaltech, as we will call it, does it too have an important part to play in revolutionising the way that clients and consumers access the legal expertise that matters to them?
Latest on the Trade Union Bill
As the Trade Union Bill makes its way through the House of Lords, the Government has published its response to the consultation about more stringent ballot thresholds for workers in "important public services".
Under the new Bill, a union will only be able to call a strike where at least 50% of those members eligible to vote participate in the ballot and a majority of those participants vote in favour of strike action. However in "important public services", in addition to the requirement of a 50% plus turnout, at least 40% of eligible members must vote in favour of strike action.