As of 6 April 2012, the trigger point for injury reporting under RIDDOR has increased from over three days’ to over seven days’ incapacitation (not counting the day on which the accident happened). Incapacitation means that the worker is absent or is unable to do work that they would reasonably be expected to do as part of their normal work.
Employers and others with responsibilities under RIDDOR must still keep a record of all over-three day-injuries. If the employer has to keep an accident book, then this record will be enough. The deadline by which the over-seven-day injury must be reported has also increased to fifteen days from the day of the accident.
HSE have brought out a new leaflet ‘Reporting accidents and incidents at work’ to explain the change. There are a number of other changes that regular newsletter readers and visitors to our website should already be aware of.
The qualification period for the right to claim unfair dismissal has also been extended from one to two years. Employees taken on from 6th April 2012 will be subject to the new two-year rule, but cases where dismissal is automatically judged to be unfair because someone has been dismissed for trying to exercise their employment rights can still be brought at any time. This comes as part of a number of employment law changes, which include:
• Judges will be able to sit alone in unfair dismissal cases
• Witness statements can be provided in writing as opposed to the current rules where a witness reads their own statement out aloud
• The maximum level for costs awarded to businesses winning a vexatious tribunal claim will rise from £10,000 to £20,000. Deposit orders required by claimants when a judge determines that a part of claim is unmerited will increase from £500 to £1,000.
In addition to this, the weekly rate of statutory sick pay has risen from £81.60 to £85.85 from April 6th, and the weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay has increased from £128.73 to £135.45, from April 1st.