Cutting Red Tape for Businesses
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Adrian Beecroft’s leaked report on employment law, commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills recommends the introduction of ‘compensated no-fault dismissal’ for all businesses and exemptions from unfair dismissal law for small businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
Business Secretary Vince Cable has subsequently however released a statement which confirms that the Government will not introduce no-fault dismissal for all businesses, citing that no-fault dismissal ‘has very rarely been raised with me as a barrier to growth’ and that businesses ‘are much more concerned about access to finance or weak demand’. Mr Cable will be examining the case for no-fault dismissals when the Government’s current call for evidence on the introduction of compensated no-fault dismissal for micro business closes on 8 June 2012.
The main proposals are:-
• compulsory lodging of all claims through Acas, for an attempt at mediation, before they can be lodged with the tribunal
• consultation on the introduction of protected conversations, with the proviso that they will not extend to protect discriminatory acts
• a call for evidence, with a view to consultation, on reducing minimum period for redundancy consultation to 30 days
• options for a ‘rapid resolution scheme’, to enable simple claims to be settled within three months
• complaints about breach of employment contract (Parkin v Sodexho) to be taken out of whistleblowing law
• financial penalties to be introduced on employers who breach employment rights, payable to the Exchequer, subject to a discretion exercisable by Employment Judges
• a fundamental review of employment tribunal rules of procedure, to include changes to costs and deposit orders
• Employment Judges to sit alone in unfair dismissal cases
• CRB checks to be portable, so no need for a fresh application when moving jobs
• maternity and paternity leave to allow for a greater involvement for fathers