"Radical” Employment Law Reforms

25th January 2012

Radical” Employment Law Reforms Announced by the G

In November 2011 Business Secretary Vince Cable outlined to the manufacturers’ organisation, the EEF, the Government’s plans for the “most radical reforms to the Employment Law system for decades”.

Amongst the proposals are the following:-

  • To seek views on introducing compensated “no fault” dismissals for micro firms with fewer than 10 employees.
  • To consider the slimming down and simplification of dismissal procedures.
  • To consider the introduction of fees for Tribunal claims.
  • To require all employment disputes to be offered ACAS Pre-Claim Conciliation before going to a Tribunal.
  • To increase the qualifying period for unfair dismissal to two years from April 2012.
  • To consider having “protected conversations” to allow employers to have discussions with staff about retirement or poor performance, which could not be relied upon in a Tribunal claim.
  • To review the Tribunal rules so to make the Tribunal process simpler and more efficient.
  • To consider the development of a “rapid resolution” scheme to offer a quicker and cheaper alternative to Employment Tribunals.

Mr Cable described these proposals as “emphatically not an attempt to give businesses an easy ride at the expense of the staff”.

Daven Naghen, head of our Employment Team commented as follows on the proposed reforms:-

“No doubt if most of these proposals come to fruition then there will be seen to be a big shift in Employment Law in favour of the employer, especially those employers who are small businesses.

Some of the proposals make good sense in theory and appear “even-handed”.  I obviously await with interest the actual details.  I particularly feel the ideas of “protected conversations”, more pre-claim involvement by ACAS and a “rapid resolution scheme” are potentially very helpful to all parties.  These proposals do not necessarily weaken the position of employees, but hopefully will provide a more effective way of resolving work place disputes without the need for lengthy, costly and stressful Tribunal claims.

On the other hand employees will certainly feel that they will be disadvantaged by the proposal to increase the qualifying period for unfair dismissal to two years and by the imposition of fees for Tribunal claims.”

If you want any advice on any of the issues referred to in this article, then please do not hesitate to contact Daven on daven.naghen@maplessolicitors.com, or on 01775 722261 or at 23 New Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 1DH.


Dementia Friends image

Dementia Friends

Maples Solicitors are proud to announce that they have now joined to become Dementia Friends which is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative.

The private client department of Maples Solicitors prepare Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney on a regular basis and this often involves dealing with clients who are suffering from dementia. The private client team pride themselves on spending as much time as is necessary to assist all of their clients, but those suffering from dementia often require additional assistance and time to ensure that they have fully understood the legal documentation that they are creating. The private client department are regularly complimented on the way they deal with such clients, whether this be explaining things to them in a clear and uncomplicated manner, spending time with them or putting them at ease.

It is a misconception that anyone suffering from dementia cannot make a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney. Only if someone lacks sufficient mental capacity are they unable to make such a document. It is therefore vitally important upon any diagnosis of dementia that legal advice is taken as soon as possible to make sure that your affairs are in order so that it is easier for your family to deal with your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.

To become Dementia Friends, Maples Solicitors have pledged to develop their understanding of dementia and continue assisting clients suffering from dementia with their legal affairs in a respectful, friendly and efficient way that is not daunting making the process as easy as possible.

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