After months of press coverage the government has now confirmed their proposals for their comprehensive review and shakeup up of Employment legislation.
The aims of the reforms, according to Vince Cable, is to "radically reform employment relations - but safeguard workers’ rights, while deregulating to reduce the onerous and unnecessary demands on businesses". The latter may well come as a welcome message to small employers but what reforms are they proposing. The proposals are:
1. Upping the qualification period from 12 months to 2 years for employees to be able to bring Unfair Dismissal claims. This may have a sting in the tail however in that employees may well try and get round this by alleging discrimination or whistleblowing which requires no qualifying period. We are proposing to hold a seminar on these topics in the new year to help employers avoid these potential claims.
2. Consultation on the introduction of protected conversations, with the proviso that they will not extend to protect discriminatory acts. So employers may be able to discuss retirement with employees without the fear of facing age discrimination claims.
3. Compulsory lodging of all claims through Acas, for an attempt at mediation, before they can be lodged with the tribunal.
4. A call for evidence, with a view to consultation, on reducing minimum period for redundancy consultation to 60, 45 or 30 days
Watch this space for further updates on these proposals but also for our seminar topic on discrimination and whistleblowing particularly relevant for the extension of the time to bring unfair dismissal claims.
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