Following from our pre-election post and the outcome of the conservative majority, it is unlikely that we will see major reforms of the Employment Tribunal fees system. The last Government did however promise a review so it is likely that this will take place at some point after the summer. If Labour had won the majority they said they would abolish the Employment Tribunal fee system but with the Conservatives reform is likely to be less drastic.
Iain Duncan Smith is continuing in the role of Work and Pensions Secretary but has been joined by Priti Patel as Employment Minister. The Employment Minister will be responsible for employment, unemployment, Jobcentre Plus, Jobseekers Allowance and Income Support as well as employers’ issues and international employment issues.
The new business secretary is Sajid Javid, who of course replaces the Lib Dem minister Vince Cable and is responsible for strategy and policy across the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). This includes business law and employment relations. The very unpopular Education Secretary Michael Gove has been appointed as justice minister.
So what does this mean for employment law in the next term? Well according to the election manifesto we can expect:
- A tougher threshold for strike action in the health, transport, fire and education sectors.
- Create an extra 3 million apprenticeships in the next five years.
- Promote full gender equality by requiring companies with more than 250 employees to publish gender pay differences.
Only time will tell if the election promises become a reality. I think for most the much awaited review of employment tribunal fees is more pressing.
May 14th 2015