Employment law reform announced by Government

The government has recently outlined plans for employment law reform, including financial penalties to be introduced on employers who breach employment rights.

The main proposals of notable interest are:-

  • To increase the qualifying period for unfair dismissal to 2 years.
  • For all claims to be submitted to ACAS for pre-conciliation before a claim can be issued in an Employment Tribunal.
  • Introducing the concept of “Protected Conversations”, which would allow employers to raise workplace issues with employees “in an open way, free from the worry it will be used in evidence in… tribunal”.
  • Financial penalties to be introduced on employers who breach employees’ employment rights. The money would be payable to the Exchequer.
  • Employment Judges are to sit alone in unfair dismissal cases.
  • Closing the loophole in whistle blowing legislation whereby a complaint about a breach of contract can count as a qualifying disclosure.
  • A review of the Tribunal rules to be conducted by Mr Justice Underhill.
  • Reviewing the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 in 18 months time.
  • Simplifying the 17 separate pieces of National Minimum Wage legislation into one set of regulations.

Below are the key links detailing all the reform proposals:-

Vince Cables Speech

BIS Press Release

Government Response to the Consultation on Resolving Working Disputes

BIS ‘call for evidence’ on effectiveness on TUPE Regs

BIS consultation on redundancy collective consulation rules

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