Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced a number of proposals to reduce the burden of employment law on business, as well as changes to the employment tribunal system which are expected to reduce costs to both taxpayers and employers. Mr Cable insisted however that the intention was not to give employers an “easy ride” but to make employment tribunals a last resort, with more use of alternative forms of dispute resolution.
Some of the numerous initiatives mentioned in a speech given by Mr Cable include:
- An increase in the service qualification period for unfair dismissal claims from one to two years (already announced by BIS in September)
- Consulting on “protected conversations” to enable employers to raise issues such as performance or retirement without the risk of disclosure in subsequent tribunal claims
- Requiring all employment disputes to go to ACAS for pre-claim conciliation, with consultation on whether to develop a “rapid resolution” scheme to a offer quicker and cheaper alternative to the employment tribunal
- Initiation of a call for evidence on proposals to simplify TUPE legislation
- Launch of consultation in spring 2012 on streamlining of regulation in the recruitment sector.
- Creation of a universally portable Criminal Records Bureau check, available online to employers