The Government has announced that as part of its ongoing review of employment law, aimed at eliminating unnecessary ‘red tape’, it will consider in detail the case for reforming:
Compensation for Discrimination
Whilst there need to be remedies for discrimination, employers have expressed concern regarding the high levels of compensation sometimes awarded by Employment Tribunals (ET) in cases of discrimination – and the lack of certainty as to the level of award they may be required to pay. The amount of compensation payable in discrimination cases is unlimited and employers worry that high awards may encourage people to bring weak, speculative or vexatious claims in the hope of a large payout. This can lead to employers opting to settle such cases before they reach the ET;
The Collective Redundancy Rules
Employers are concerned that the current requirements regarding consultation when an employer proposes to make collective redundancies are hindering their ability to restructure efficiently and retain a flexible workforce. Employers in financial difficulty worry about how long they need to keep paying staff after it has become clear that they need to let them go. They also claim that it is not clear from the legislation at what point consultation on redundancies should start or end; and
The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) implement the European Directive on Acquired Rights and protect employees’ terms and conditions of employment when there is a relevant transfer of a business, a part of a business or a service provision change from one owner to another. These rules offer important protections but some businesses believe that they are ‘gold plated’ and overly bureaucratic.
The review of these areas of employment law will commence this year.
Employment Relations Minister Edward Davey said, “The areas we are reviewing are priorities for employers. We want to make it easier for businesses to take on staff and grow."
“We will be looking carefully at the arguments for reform. Fairness for individuals will not be compromised – but where we can make legislation easier to understand, improve efficiency and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy we will.”