On 14 September, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced it has firmed up on its proposals to streamline employment law.
The package of reforms comes in response to calls from business to simplify and speed up the process of ending the employment relationship when it breaks down, for the benefit of both employers and employees.
The package of employment reforms announced today includes:
- Settlement agreements consultation (the new name for what’s previously been known as ‘compromise agreements’) starting 12 September that will set out how the process will work in practice. The consultation provides a template letter and guidance on how employers and employees would reach agreement. Acas has agreed to provide a new code of practice for settlement agreements.
- Unfair dismissal claims consultation will also start 12 September and will look at the potential for reducing the compensation cap, currently at £72,300. The proposals are two-fold – a cap of up to 12 months pay and a new, reduced, upper limit.
- Further streamlining of employment tribunals, following on from Justice Underhill’s review, with a consultation starting 12 September including proposals on how judges could dismiss weak cases more easily and reduce the number of preliminary hearings.
- A summary of responses to the call for evidence on changes to TUPE with a commitment to consult on issues, raised by business, by the end of 2012.
There are online links to the consultation documents mentioned above.
The Government also responded formally to the call for evidence on proposals for compensated no fault dismissal for micro-firms. Based on the evidence presented by business the Government will not be taking forward the proposal.