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As predicted - Employment laws weakened further.

overkill

Distinguished Member
The govt set out today it's proposals to 'make more flexible' UK employment law.

The proposed changes are:- The key points include:

a "call for evidence" on whether "micro-firms" can dismiss staff without their agreement and without them being taken to a tribunal if they pay compensation
a consultation on "protected conversations", which would allow employers to have frank discussions about poor performance with workers without fear that they could be used as evidence in a tribunal
a "call for evidence" on the length of time required for a consultation period on planned redundancies. It is currently 90 days, but the government is considering reducing that to 30
a requirement for all claims to go to the conciliation service Acas before reaching employment tribunal
options for a "rapid resolution scheme" for more simple cases to be settled within three months

The business secretary also confirmed plans to make people work two years before they can make a claim for unfair dismissal from April - up from one year at present.

(Source BBC)

First, ignore the 'consultations' bit. These have been in the pipeline since August 2010, and that means all consultation is finished. Now it's a just a question of getting it before parliament.

Second, I don't disagree with all of these. The rapid resolution scheme is a good idea and would save money and time, all it does is extend ACAS's existing duties.

However, the rest smacks of, once again, rather than trying to improve business practices, and invest in kick starting the economy, the easiest way is to encourage hire and fire (by increasing the unfair dismissal period to two years before you can claim) and make it harder for employees to make a claim to a Tribunal. Which coincidently, many have been shut by the cuts...........

The proposal to make ACAS decide on whether a case should go to tribunal is highly controversial (not least to my company who are livid). ACAS are currently seen by the public at least, as 'impartial'. If they are going to be sole decision makers of whether a case can proceed to tribunal, that is going to be badly eroded. Why? Because the ACAS Conciliation staffs sole job is to STOP cases going to Tribunal!

One also wonders how ACAS, which is tiny compared to it's sister organisations, and not much larger than it's Private Sector competitors, is going to cope with it's new responsibilities and massively increased workload? Don't forget, there is no money in the coffers to recruit civil service staff.......

As for (micro) small businesses being able to fire without reason........ what's the point of having a contract? How would a business feel if none of it's clients adhered to a contract and simply pulled out without reason? I know, because in the current climate it's a complaint I hear often enough. :rolleyes:

Protected conversations? Why on Earth would you need to have a protected conversation, if you are only being honest and following company procedure and law? Tribunals want to see them as evidence the employer has followed due procedure - and that's it. I can see this one being challenged in Europe.

The 90 day consultation is there to allow both sides to discuss major redundancies, and only applies to medium to large employers. The vast number of SME's only have to consult for 30 days already. Even then, by choice, many consult for longer. This is one the CBI want.

As for raising the unfair dismissal time to two years, what a joke. Employers use the one year rule as an excuse to sack at the drop of a hat, never mind two years.

The basic thrust of this is to make it even harder to get a tribunal result than it currently is, and, bottom line, save money at employees expense.

Oh, and Cables talk of a 40% increase is codswallop. Tribunals claims (as published by the ET themselves) fell in the last year, the huge increase was from between 2008-2010 and down to bad (and illegal) redundancy practise.
 

metropolis

Well-known Member
good post
i'm sure there are better ways to make things more "flexible" than having the nations workforce living in fear that they could be got rid of for any reason.
 

MikeTV

Distinguished Member
However, the rest smacks of, once again, rather than trying to improve business practices, and invest in kick starting the economy, the easiest way is to encourage hire and fire (by increasing the unfair dismissal period to two years before you can claim) and make it harder for employees to make a claim to a Tribunal. Which coincidently, many have been shut by the cuts...........
You hit the nail on the head there. Adrian Beecroft funds the tory party. He is then enlisted by the tories to write a report saying unfair dismissal claims should be scrapped.

That's how this government works. Cash for policies. Same old tories - screwing everybody except their super rich buddies.

It's probably time to emigrate. The country is going to hell in a handbasket under this government. They are bankrupting us anyway to save the bankers.
 

sidicks

Banned
metropolis said:
good post
i'm sure there are better ways to make things more "flexible" than having the nations workforce living in fear that they could be got rid of for any reason.

Yea, that's exactly what is being proposed...
:facepalm:
Sidicks
 

sidicks

Banned
MikeTV said:
You hit the nail on the head there. Adrian Beecroft funds the tory party. He is then enlisted by the tories to write a report saying unfair dismissal claims should be scrapped.
Again, isn't that a poor summary of exactly what is being proposed!

MikeTV said:
That's how this government works. Cash for policies. Same old tories - screwing everybody except their super rich buddies.
Yawn!

MikeTV said:
It's probably time to emigrate. The country is going to hell in a handbasket under this government. They are bankrupting us anyway to save the bankers.
No need, the Labour government did that between 1997 and 2009!
:)
Sidicks
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
Yea, that's exactly what is being proposed...
:facepalm:
Sidicks
Is it? Can you please tell me how weakening already weak employment laws is making them more 'flexible'? :confused: All these changes will do is make it even easier to fire people, hide bad management in a cloak of secrecy, and make approaching a tribunal ever more difficult thus strengthening bad employers hands still further.

Beechcroft is indeed a Tory donor, and one who stands to enjoy a fat slap on the back (maybe a Knighthood? - yes I know Tony the Tory did that too) by his fellow right wingers for delivering a package that takes us back to the dark ages in terms of employment rights.

Did you read the first post? Further, do you just make these comments to antagonise because frankly, that's all you seem to do?
 
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D

Deleted member 13294

Guest
Is it? Can you please tell me how weakening already weak employment laws is making them more 'flexible'? :confused:

Can you tell me any way that employment laws could be made more flexible without somebody somewhere complaining that had made them weaker?
 

MikeTV

Distinguished Member
Can you tell me any way that employment laws could be made more flexible without somebody somewhere complaining that had made them weaker?
I think that's why the word "flexible" was in quotes. Everybody knows it really means weaker. Everyone should have a right to make a claim for unfair dismissal, it shouldn't matter whether your employer is a recent startup or a global multinational. Everyone should be entitled to the same employment rights.
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
Can you tell me any way that employment laws could be made more flexible without somebody somewhere complaining that had made them weaker?
Can you tell me what 'flexible' means? beyond greater powers to sack and preventing access to an ET?

Would you be comfortable having other laws more 'flexible'? Criminal law for example? It's one of my greatest bugbears that the British people think any law bar Criminal is just 'bureaucracy', and duly ignore, and wonder why they get in trouble. :mad:

Anyway that aside, as I said what do you mean by flexible? Employment law has always been geared to making life easier for employer than the employee, and current legislation has plenty of opportunity for employers to deal with staff without having to resort to making it even easier to fire them. Employers in this country have it easy compared to all their European competitor's and the majority in the Western World yet still they complain.:cool:

These new proposal are a tacit admission that our business's are so useless that unless employees are completely toothless in terms of rights they cannot make money. :suicide:

In terms of what I would change, I would re-introduce the now defunct statutory D&G process, but make it so that both sides had to adhere to it or forfeit their right to go to, or defend themselves at an ET. The vast majority of disputes could be solved by both sides being reasonable, and entering into proper, honest dialogue. As such 70% (govt figures) could be resolved at the informal stage. Sadly too many bosses bully staff and tell lies, and too many staff get their backs up and get serious before they need to.

As such more rigidity is needed to get both sides behaving not greater 'flexibility'.
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
I think that's why the word "flexible" was in quotes. Everybody knows it really means weaker. Everyone should have a right to make a claim for unfair dismissal, it shouldn't matter whether your employer is a recent startup or a global multinational. Everyone should be entitled to the same employment rights.
Exactly. It's called 'access to justice' and this is going to cause no end of complaints to the high court and ultimately Europe when people feel they can't get justice due to these changes.

What the govt, in its staggering ignorance, doesn't take into account, is that not all claims to tribunal are made by 'workers'. Quite a lot are made by professionals. It takes just one of those to make a successful complaint, and it ends up with the govt losing out to a legal decision that cost us a fortune. Oh, and, the law being changed anyway........... :facepalm:
 

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